By CARLA ARDELL
The name of our province is a story in itself.
It was a choice between Buffalo, a source of life, and the Cree word meaning “swift moving water.”
Both choices were linked to the lifeblood of Aboriginal existence.
Ultimately, the name Saskatchewan was chosen to represent the two main rivers flowing through our territory.
This little known fact is a reason National Aboriginal History Month (NAHM) is important to Canadians.
Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway, founder of NAHM, says this month is about “raising the social consciousness of people” and has thus far “definitely” been a success.
This year, the need for social consciousness (referenced above) expanded to a social media launch by the Regina Aboriginal Professionals Association (RAPA) with a photo contest.
Participants are to take pictures daily and post them hashtaging #NAHM2013PhotoADay.
As NAHM has grown in the last six years — from a local Regina initiative — to a cross-Canada celebration, this photo contest will continue to build it’s momentum.
With youth engaged in a more practical way, photos of this month’s events will likely be submitted by participants.
For example, First Nations University (FNUniv) is hosting Tipi Teachings.
Elders will teach values to youth, the most important being respect.
“If you have respect for yourself, you stay out of trouble,” says Roland Kaye, FNUniv Elders’ Helper.
RAPA emphasizes NAHM is for all Canadians. It brings to life Canada’s past, changes the present and empowers the future.
For further event information see http://www.rapanetwork.ca/.