VIDEO: Performers awe crowds at 2019 Indigenous Cultural Festival

Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – are members of the Squamish Nation. They performed a number of songs including the paddle song, Gathering for Eagles song and the Slow Bird song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon. The dance group was one of dozens of B.C. First Nations performers to wow crowds at the three-day Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – are members of the Squamish Nation. They performed a number of songs including the paddle song, Gathering for Eagles song and the Slow Bird song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon. The dance group was one of dozens of B.C. First Nations performers to wow crowds at the three-day Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Alex Wells, a three-time world champion hoop dancer from Lil’wat Nation performed at the Indigenous Cultural Festival at the Royal BC Museum Plaza on Sunday. Wells has performed around the world and teaches dancing to all ages. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Alex Wells, a three-time world champion hoop dancer from Lil’wat Nation performed at the Indigenous Cultural Festival at the Royal BC Museum Plaza on Sunday. Wells has performed around the world and teaches dancing to all ages. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – are members of the Squamish Nation. They performed a number of songs including the paddle song, Gathering for Eagles song and the Slow Bird song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon. The dance group was one of dozens of B.C. First Nations performers to wow crowds at the three-day Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – are members of the Squamish Nation. They performed a number of songs including the paddle song, Gathering for Eagles song and the Slow Bird song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon. The dance group was one of dozens of B.C. First Nations performers to wow crowds at the three-day Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – members of the Squamish Nation perform the Gathering for Eagles song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon during the Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – members of the Squamish Nation perform the Gathering for Eagles song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon during the Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – members of the Squamish Nation perform the Gathering for Eagles song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon during the Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – members of the Squamish Nation perform the Gathering for Eagles song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon during the Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – are members of the Squamish Nation. They performed a number of songs including the paddle song, Gathering for Eagles song and the Slow Bird song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon. The dance group was one of dozens of B.C. First Nations performers to wow crowds at the three-day Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Spakwus Slolem – translated Eagle Song Dancers in English – are members of the Squamish Nation. They performed a number of songs including the paddle song, Gathering for Eagles song and the Slow Bird song at the Royal BC Museum plaza on Sunday afternoon. The dance group was one of dozens of B.C. First Nations performers to wow crowds at the three-day Indigenous Cultural Festival. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

A celebration of B.C. First Nations culture returned to Victoria this weekend.

The 2019 Victoria Indigenous Cultural Festival provides a unique and special opportunity to connect with and learn about the incredible cultures of B.C.’s First Nations peoples – from stunning song and dance performances to demonstrations of weaving and drum-making.

READ ALSO: WATCH: Thousands gather for National Indigenous Peoples Day at Royal Roads University

“What’s happened in the last while is, our people have put ourselves into a position to say, ‘okay we know what’s happened in the past, but we have to look to the future,’” said George Taylor, festival organizer. “That’s the way I look at it. The only way we’re going to be able to do things together is to we have to do it in support of one another.”

Taylor, of Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations, says festivals such as this one play an important role.

“The festival is very, very well known throughout the province now and people come from the U.S.,” he said. “I think it’s so important because our people, at one point in time, were not allowed to speak our language, were not allowed to practice our culture and we had to go underground. Now we are in the position where we celebrate together.”

Held in partnership with the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, the three-day festival kicked off Friday – National Indigenous Peoples Day – and ran until Sunday outside the Royal BC Museum.

Visitors took in smudge ceremonies, storytelling, drum-making and cedar-weaving demonstrations, not to mention traditional dancers and singers from across B.C. including the Answer Womens Drum Group, Homiss Family Dancers, South Island Singers and Dancers, Lekwungen Traditional Dancers, Spakwus Slolem dancers and more.

READ ALSO: International conference to boost Indigenous languages comes to Victoria



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As cyclists and pedestrians pass by at Humboldt and Government streets, a garden of blooming black-eyed Susans brightens up the northwest corner of the Fairmont Empress Hotel property on a partially sunny November afternoon. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Keep your umbrella handy for the next while around Greater Victoria

November has lived up to its reputation as one of the rainiest months of the year

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming moves to the role of transportation minister in the NDP’s new cabinet. (B.C. government file photo)
Greater Victoria MLAs claim key roles in new cabinet

Transportation, Indigenous relations, children and family development ministries headed by locals

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Most Read