TAYLOR, B.C. — The Treaty 8 Tribal Association is hosting a Tea & Round Dance in Taylor on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, following the Every Child Matters walk and barbecue.

The event is happening on September 30th and will be held at the Taylor Community Hall.

Connie Greyeyes, northern case manager for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, says this event is open to everyone.

“Just keep in mind that it is an alcohol and drug-free event, and family friend,” she added.

These dances typically begin with a pipe ceremony.

“That is opening up the floor in prayers for all the people that are coming and attending, so they arrive and go home to their home fires safely,” she said.

“Everyone is welcome to join in on that pipe ceremony.”

Greyeyes explains that attendees can expect to sit and listen to elders talk about the good life they’re meant to have, and a traditional feast follows.

“We have some community members that are donating traditional food, like moose and buffalo, for this feast,” she added.

“Soon as the feast is done, we prepare the hall and start the tea dance.”

Due to the event being held on the traditional territory of the Dane-zaa, Greyeyes says they wanted to honour their ceremonies.

“We all thought that it would be a good opportunity to open that round dance with a traditional tea dance from the drummers that do those songs,” Greyeyes explained.

“And then we’re gonna go right into a round dance, which is typically Cree drummers.”

She says they’ve had many discussions about incorporating a tea dance into their events “because it’s the right thing to do.”

“It honours the people whose territory we’re on.”

Additionally, she says they’re hoping to have some vendors selling their wares, and there will be raffles and 50/50 draws.

“It just helps to give honorariums to our drummers and our ceremonial people that come. We light a sacred fire, and we like to offer the young men taking care of that fire a little something for their time and to get back to their home fire,” Greyeyes explained.

She encourages non-Indigenous people to come to the event.

“This round dance is on September 30th for a reason. We’re still here; we’re still practicing our ceremonies,” Greyeyes said.

“It’s a really good opportunity to come and see this beautiful culture and traditions that we have, and we openly share it with everyone.”

Treaty 8 Tribal Association is looking for monetary donations and can be contacted at 250-785-0612.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.