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'You feel more connected': Thousands turn out for STC Pow Wow

More than four thousand people attended the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) Pow Wow and Concert at SaskTel Centre on Friday.

The event featured a concert from Canadian country music star, George Canyon.

A product of Nova Scotia, who only recently discovered his Mi’kmaw heritage, Canyon said days like today are about learning and connecting.

“Just to be a part of it and learning more and more, you feel more connected,” he told CTV news.

“Everyone feels connected and that’s what we need to do. Even if you don't have Indigenous heritage.”

Canyon says his heritage was hidden from his family by his great aunt until about five years ago.

“They were bullied back in Nova Scotia when they grew up and they were called all these names, and they didn’t want the next generation to suffer that pain,” he said.

“But I’ve since learned that my great grandmas were full Mi’kmaw and I’m learning more and more about my history. So getting to be a part of something like this is very important to me personally.”

The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is meant to remember the survivors and families of residential schools. While Canyon said it’s easy to be distracted by negativity in the word, coming together builds a sense of community.

“We need more community now than we ever have and less divisiveness,” said Canyon, a Juno award winner and member of the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame.

“And I think opportunities to come together like this for the whole province, it just means the world to me.”

STC chief Mark Arcand said to him, the day was about three things.

“To me, today is a significant day about culture, language and identity,” Arcand told CTV News. “This is why we wanted to do a pow wow. To put it back on the forefront of our people, and healing from the residential schools and the trauma so they can come to some sort of resolution.”

Celebrating culture, language and identity is the way to move forward from the trauma left behind by the residential school system, Arcand said.

“A lot of people are saying we’ve got to forgive, but how do we move forward? By practising our identity and being proud of who we are.” Top Stories

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