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Indigenous culture celebrated through storytelling, music and dance

Three-time world champion hoop dancer Dallas Arcand

The day officially began with a prayer and some words from Ermineskin Cree Elder Jack Makinaw.

Three-time world champion hoop dancer Dallas Arcand showcased his knowledge of Indigenous history through storytelling and music during a celebration of Indigenous culture hosted by AltaLink in Calgary.

He captivated his audience with teachings and told the history of the hoop dance, which he said originated more than 1,200 years ago. It was once a healing dance, but the modern hoop dance is a form of storytelling. His dance reflected how everyone is connected to the plants, animals and earth and that there are two worlds – one private and one public – in which people interact. 

The event took place as part of Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary on June 19. The day officially began with a prayer and some words from Ermineskin Cree Elder Jack Makinaw.

“It’s a pleasure to celebrate with AltaLink,” Alberta’s largest electricity transmission provider. “In my experience working with them, I can see this is a good company that really makes the effort to build positive relationships,” Makinaw said.

“We operate within many First Nation reserves, Métis settlements and MNA regions,” said Kris Gladue, manager, Indigenous Relations at AltaLink. “Respecting the traditional territories throughout Alberta and Indigenous ways of life is integral to what we do.” said Gladue.

Robyn Luff, MLA for Calgary-East, was also in attendance to bring official greetings on behalf of the Government of Alberta.  

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