– Aaleya Waslat, staff

Aboriginal Awareness week took place last week and brought new inspiration to campus.

Laurier students and members of the Brantford community were able to enjoy a week of traditional Aboriginal music, dance and art.

Last Tuesday in the Research & Academic Centre, for example, Six Nations singers presented a unique performance and students were allowed to join a traditional Haudenosaunee smoke dance competition.

“I wish I could dance like them, it looks so hard but it is seems fun and catchy,” says Raag Patel, a first-year student at Laurier.

The Smoke Dance itself is a war dance, which has recently gained popularity because of the Smoke Dance contest.

On Wednesday, students had the chance to view beautiful aboriginal art personally presented by the artists.

“Many drove to the campus to be a part of the Aboriginal Awareness Week, we have self – made jewelry made out of glass and drawings as well as self made Aboriginal dishes,” says Bonnie Whitlow, the Aboriginal Student Support Coordinator at Laurier Brantford.

She said she organized and planned the Aboriginal Awareness Week with the support of students and other passionate artists.  The music presented was a mix of Country, R&B, Blues, Hip Hop and Spoken word performance.

On Thursday, students had the great opportunity to book an appointment to experience a healing energy through certified workers. In addition to that, elders and those who work with gathering and growing their own food and medicine were able to give advice and will sell natural medicines and teas.

The Office of Aboriginal Initiatives at Laurier Brantford has taken an initiative to reach out to everyone, and allow students the opportunity to be a part of and witness the Aboriginal culture and enjoy the traditional cultural music and art.

“This is the opportunity to make new friendships and meet those who have come all the way here to show what they have made themselves”, said Whitlow.