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Hundreds flock to Millbrook for regional celebration


By Randi BeersSpecial to the Truro Daily NewsMILLBROOK – A little warrior in red, white and blue traditional dress danced at Glooscap Heritage Centre Friday afternoon alongside men who shared one thing in common with him.

The six-year-old Bermudan, Kyah Lovell, is of aboriginal descent and worked to stay connected with his heritage on National Aboriginal Day.

The Glooscap centre in Millbrook hosts the biggest Aboriginal Day celebration in the region and hundreds of people gathered from as far as Manitoba to take part in dancing, singing, prayer and drum circles.

Lovell, who lives in Truro, attened to dance to the drums for the first time in the costume he wore proudly, thanks to his mother.

“I handmade this costume for him for Christmas,” said Katie Huey. “I think there’s about 4,000 yards of yarn in it. He was shocked and ecstatic when he got it.”

The traditional Bermudan Gombey he wore reflected a mixture of British and native cultures and was styled in the same design as costumes the Bermudan slaves wore in the 1600s when they were only allowed by the British to dance just one day a year.

“It’s the colours of the Bermudan flag, and the meaning of the mirrors are to reflect off evil spirits,” Huey said of her handiwork as her son played with a wooden tomahawk.

Melissa Peterpaul travelled from Scotchford, P.E.I. with her six-year-old son, Owen, for the Millbrook celebration and said she keeps her son close to his Mi’kmaq heritage by teaching him the language.

“I just started learning Mi’kmaq,” she said. “And my son is picking it up slowly. Not that many people speak it anymore, so I think it’s important he learns while he’s young.”

The duo spent the morning dancing in the traditional dresses she spent all year making for Owen and herself in between taking breaks in the shade.

The ceremony started at noon with an opening speech by Millbrook Band Chief Bob Gloade and Truro Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann.

Special guest Randy Wood, a Cree from the Sandy Creek Reservation in Utah, said a prayer, which was followed by dance and hand drum competitions.

Hungry people lined up for a taste of Sheila’s Indian Tacos, which are made from a secret recipe that goes back generations in Sheila Nevin’s family.

She learned how to make them after picking up a dough recipe in Manitoba, bringing it home and watching her mother decree it sub par.

“The dough was hard and my mother told me, ‘Here’s your grandmother’s recipe. I’m only going to show it to you once, so you better pay attention,’” said Nevin, who’s mother sat behind her in a wheelchair and watched staff assembled tacos for guests.

“After I watched her, she said, ‘You are not to give this recipe to anyone because it belonged to my Ki’ju (grandmother).’ My mother is 91 (years old), so you can imagine how old the recipe is.”

Nevin, who lives in Indian Brook, makes her tacos for all of her community’s powwows and other events like National Aboriginal Day.

“I’ve been making these tacos here (in Millbrook) pretty much since it started,” she said.

“I only missed two years – one was my mother’s birthday and the other I was very sick. I don’t like to miss a day.”

 

Twitter @TDNRandi

 

 

 

STREETERS: WHO DO YOU THINK OF ON NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY?

 

STREETER 1 KIARA DENNY (Millbrook) – My Ki’ji (grandma), Shirley Denny, because she speaks Miq’maw fluently.

 

STREETER 2  MARTIN SYLLIBLY (Millbrook) – All the good groups of all spirit creation coming together.

 

STREETER 3 BECKY JULIAN (Indian Brook) – My sister, because she did a lot for Native rights.

 

STREETER 4 LUKE PAUL (Millbrook) – Donald Marshall Jr. – he saved our treaties.

 

STREETER 5 JIMMY ROADNIGHT (Indian Brook) – My grandma. She was 103 when she left me. She was on that train Vince Coleman stopped before the Halifax explosion. None of us in our family would be here if that train hadn’t been stopped.

 

STREETER 6 ANNABELLE NICHOLAS (Millbrook) – All them dancers and drummers. I don’t know their names, I come to listen to the drums and the singing, I love it.

The six-year-old Bermudan, Kyah Lovell, is of aboriginal descent and worked to stay connected with his heritage on National Aboriginal Day.

The Glooscap centre in Millbrook hosts the biggest Aboriginal Day celebration in the region and hundreds of people gathered from as far as Manitoba to take part in dancing, singing, prayer and drum circles.

Lovell, who lives in Truro, attened to dance to the drums for the first time in the costume he wore proudly, thanks to his mother.

“I handmade this costume for him for Christmas,” said Katie Huey. “I think there’s about 4,000 yards of yarn in it. He was shocked and ecstatic when he got it.”

The traditional Bermudan Gombey he wore reflected a mixture of British and native cultures and was styled in the same design as costumes the Bermudan slaves wore in the 1600s when they were only allowed by the British to dance just one day a year.

“It’s the colours of the Bermudan flag, and the meaning of the mirrors are to reflect off evil spirits,” Huey said of her handiwork as her son played with a wooden tomahawk.

Melissa Peterpaul travelled from Scotchford, P.E.I. with her six-year-old son, Owen, for the Millbrook celebration and said she keeps her son close to his Mi’kmaq heritage by teaching him the language.

“I just started learning Mi’kmaq,” she said. “And my son is picking it up slowly. Not that many people speak it anymore, so I think it’s important he learns while he’s young.”

The duo spent the morning dancing in the traditional dresses she spent all year making for Owen and herself in between taking breaks in the shade.

The ceremony started at noon with an opening speech by Millbrook Band Chief Bob Gloade and Truro Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann.

Special guest Randy Wood, a Cree from the Sandy Creek Reservation in Utah, said a prayer, which was followed by dance and hand drum competitions.

Hungry people lined up for a taste of Sheila’s Indian Tacos, which are made from a secret recipe that goes back generations in Sheila Nevin’s family.

She learned how to make them after picking up a dough recipe in Manitoba, bringing it home and watching her mother decree it sub par.

“The dough was hard and my mother told me, ‘Here’s your grandmother’s recipe. I’m only going to show it to you once, so you better pay attention,’” said Nevin, who’s mother sat behind her in a wheelchair and watched staff assembled tacos for guests.

“After I watched her, she said, ‘You are not to give this recipe to anyone because it belonged to my Ki’ju (grandmother).’ My mother is 91 (years old), so you can imagine how old the recipe is.”

Nevin, who lives in Indian Brook, makes her tacos for all of her community’s powwows and other events like National Aboriginal Day.

“I’ve been making these tacos here (in Millbrook) pretty much since it started,” she said.

“I only missed two years – one was my mother’s birthday and the other I was very sick. I don’t like to miss a day.”

 

Twitter @TDNRandi

 

 

 

STREETERS: WHO DO YOU THINK OF ON NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY?

 

STREETER 1 KIARA DENNY (Millbrook) – My Ki’ji (grandma), Shirley Denny, because she speaks Miq’maw fluently.

 

STREETER 2  MARTIN SYLLIBLY (Millbrook) – All the good groups of all spirit creation coming together.

 

STREETER 3 BECKY JULIAN (Indian Brook) – My sister, because she did a lot for Native rights.

 

STREETER 4 LUKE PAUL (Millbrook) – Donald Marshall Jr. – he saved our treaties.

 

STREETER 5 JIMMY ROADNIGHT (Indian Brook) – My grandma. She was 103 when she left me. She was on that train Vince Coleman stopped before the Halifax explosion. None of us in our family would be here if that train hadn’t been stopped.

 

STREETER 6 ANNABELLE NICHOLAS (Millbrook) – All them dancers and drummers. I don’t know their names, I come to listen to the drums and the singing, I love it.

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