University Celebrates Aboriginal Grads

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BRANDON, MB – A capacity crowd is expected to participate this week in the annual Graduation Pow Wow at Brandon University (BU), a celebration involving singing, dancing and a giant pot of wild meat stew.

Opening ceremonies, Grad Pow Wow 2013
Opening ceremonies, Grad Pow Wow 2013

“Pow Wow is a tradition among Aboriginal peoples,” says event organizer Rhonda McCorriston, BU’s Director of Aboriginal Initiatives, “a time for celebrating and socializing. Through dancing, feasting and having fun, we take pride in traditional heritage and honour the journeys of our friends and relatives.”

This year, 47 Aboriginal students are receiving BU degrees, including Shelli Flett from Kinosao Sipi Cree Nation, a community on the north shore of Lake Winnipeg. Flett is completing her education degree, after earning a Bachelor of Physical Education Studies in 2011.

“My time at BU has been an incredibly amazing six years,” says Flett. “BU gave me opportunities to develop friendships and create connections. I hope to make a difference in children’s lives by encouraging them to be active learners and develop their own ambitions and goals.”

The Graduation Pow Wow will feature drum groups, dancers in full regalia, and a stew made from 80 pounds (36 kgs) of elk, moose and deer meat. “That’s never been done before on the BU campus,” says McCorriston. The Pow Wow takes place at BU’s Healthy Living Centre, Thursday, May 29, starting 6:30 pm.

Participants and invited guests will include grads and their families, community member and elders; Grand Chief of Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Derek Nepinak; President of Manitoba Metis Federation, David Chartrand; MLAs for the two Brandon ridings, Member of Parliament, Brandon-Souris, Larry Maguire; and Acting Deputy Mayor, City of Brandon, Shawn Berry.

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.


For more information, please contact:

Rhonda McCorriston
Director of Aboriginal Initiatives
204- 727-7443

Glen Kirby
Communications Officer



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