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Native Centre celebrates future Aboriginal leaders

Campus community invited to 26th Annual Aboriginal Graduation Banquet and Powwow


Associate professor Darin Flynn, School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures & Cultures, was the 2016 recipient of the Rev. Dr. Chief John Snow Sr. Award. The award was presented by Tony Snow, son of the late John Snow Sr. Photo by Riley Brandt

By Tracy Brockman
May 28, 2017

Each year, the Native Centre honours the academic achievements of graduating Aboriginal students at the University of Calgary with the Aboriginal Graduation Banquet and Powwow. On Saturday, June 10, the university will share in the celebration of 110 self-identified graduating Aboriginal students at this special cultural event, themed Inspiring the Next Generation.

The event invites family, friends, students, faculty and staff to honour the successes of the Class of 2017 graduates with a reception, banquet and traditional powwow. The evening also provides an excellent opportunity for the campus community to participate in the cultural event, and come together with the aboriginal community in support of the accomplishments of the graduates.

Banquet ceremonies include a Métis sash presentation, fiddle music, and the presentation of Student and Community Awards

Prior to the banquet, Métis graduates are presented with a sash from a representative of the Métis Nation of Alberta Region III and Rupertsland Institute. This presentation is accompanied by live traditional Métis fiddle music.

There will be a number of highlights throughout the banquet, including the presentation of two student awards, the Royal Eagle Award and the Dr. Olive Dickason Award. To recognize and honour the individual achievements and contributions made this past year by faculty, professionals, Aboriginal community members, and support staff, four awards will be presented, the Rev. Dr. Chief John Snow Sr. Award, Dr. Douglas Cardinal Award, Dr. Joseph Crowshoe Award and Dr. Ralph Steinhauer Award.

A special ceremony that is unique to the university takes place during the powwow, called the Circle of Honor. The Native Center presents each Aboriginal degree recipient with a ceremonial gift blessed by spiritual leaders from the community and presented by traditional knowledge keepers and faculty members.

“This meaningful event would not be possible without the growing support of our corporate sponsors and volunteers,” says Shawna Cunningham, director of the Native Centre. “I am pleased to share that Student Enrolment Services has partnered with the Native Centre to sponsor this year’s event, strengthening the university’s commitment to developing an Indigenous strategy that creates a rich, vibrant and culturally competent campus.”

Join the Native Centre in celebrating the achievements of our Aboriginal graduates

In total, 112 degrees will be awarded from a variety of degree programs this year. This includes 82 bachelor degrees (including students receiving double degrees); 22 master's degrees; and eight doctoral degrees.

The Aboriginal Graduation Banquet and Powwow Ceremony is being held at the Red and White Club at McMahon Stadium.

Tickets for the banquet are $40 each and include a three-course dinner and door prize entry. The powwow is free of charge. All portions of the event are child-friendly and open to the public. 

To find out more information, contact the Native Centre.