Grande Prairie – This morning, approximately 400 sets of hands were clapping and feet tapping as the Red Feather Métis Dancers took to the stage at Harry Balfour School (HBS) as the opening event for the school's 2019 National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations.
Principal Jen Clevette provided a Land Acknowledgement, followed by an introduction of the dancers by teacher April Price.
Dancers Delaine Lambert-English and Bill Chalifoux (pictured) shared the history of the Métis people and explained how the infinity symbol on their shirts hearkens back the roots of Métis people – a joining of the Indigenous peoples with the new European immigrants. The pair performed the Red River Jig, Orange Blossom Special, and the Sash Dance that involved step dancing over a pair of crossed traditional Métis sashes on the floor.
The event concluded with a Métis sash presentation to Ms. Price who recently discovered her own Métis roots. Ms. Lambert-English said, "We want to honour Ms. Price because in our culture, we lift people up."
Students will participate in a variety of activities throughout the day, including dance workshops with the Red Feather Métis Dancers, and classroom-based totem pole art projects, Indigenous games, and Books and Bannock – reading Indigenous literature while enjoying bannock.