Mohawk College opens the first outdoor Indigenous gathering place of its kind at an Ontario college or university Reply

 

hoop dance shotWe officially opened Hoop Dance last week in the heart of our Fennell campus. Mohawk is proud to be home to the first outdoor Indigenous gathering place of its kind at any college or university in Ontario.

Hoop Dance marks an important milestone on Mohawk’s ongoing journey to weave Indigenous knowledge and culture into the fabric of our college.

Students, faculty, staff and college partners are invited to use Hoop Dance for classes, ceremonies and celebrations. To find out more, send an email at hoopdance@mohawkcollege.ca.

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We were honoured to have Six Nations Polytechnic president and CEO Rebecca Jamieson and the Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, take part in the official opening of Hoop Dance at Mohawk College. We were also joined by the Hon. Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, MPP Ted McMeekin and MP Filomena Tassi.

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Hoop Dance was made possible thanks to the generous support from the Mohawk Students’ Association. As MSA President Kyle Datzkiw said during Hoop Dance’s official opening,  the association had just one question when they heard about plans for constructing an Indigenous gathering place. “How can we help make this happen?”.  During the ceremony I also thanked everyone who played a part in creating Hoop Dance, including Mohawk’s Jeremy Dowling and Alan Griffiths,  Six Nations Polytechnic project advisor Rick Hill, main designers BrookMcIlroy, Blackwell Structural Engineers and Kavaski Electrical Engineers and Oakridge  Landscape Contractors.

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Premier Wynne was presented with a Two Row Wampum Belt made by Ron McLester, Mohawk’s Director of Aboriginal Initiatives. Ron was the driving force behind creating a unique space where the college and community could teach, learn, gather and share Indigenous knowledge, culture and tradition.

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The Spirit Vision Drummers and Dancers led our guests to the Hoop Dance. They gave an inspired performance, even though they had just finished welcoming graduating students and proud family and friends at all nine Mohawk Convocation ceremonies the previous week. Joining the Spirit Vision Drummers and Dancers were the Mush Hole Singers.

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Everyone joined in a Round Dance to officially open Hoop Dance – the first of many events, celebrations and ceremonies planned for this one-of-a-kind space.

 

 

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