As Barbara Nepinak had promised the afternoon of reconciliation at the Pat Porter Active learning centre in Steinbach ended on a very positive note. Dancing. In Steinbach at that. It is not famous for dancing.
First Nepinak told us about how she had attended a function at a town near to Steinbach when she was young. They came to demonstrate their culture to the students of a school in this area. Much to her surprise the students mocked the indigenous children, used derogatory terms about them, and hurled items at them. “This seemed shocking to us,” she said because they thought they were in a civilzed place. I guess they were wrong. How did we treat indigenous people when we were young? I can’t remember much.
Today we were presented with 3 young dancers of exceptional ability. In fact, a couple of weeks ago we attended a pow wow where our 3-year-old indigenous granddaughter was strutting her stuff with the regalia her mother had made. One of the winning dancers at that pow wow was performing for us in Steinbach. His name was Tyson Prince and he was outstanding. I particularly liked his dance called the Prairie Chicken Dance. I have seen a lek and it was a pretty good rendition.
Tyson’s sisters Rose and Teagan also performed. The dances were sensational. This was in fact a high note all right.
There were no racial insults hurled this time. Steinbach has come a long way toward reconciliation, but still has a long way to go.