Elder Theresa “Corky” Larsen Jonasson prepares to lead a smudging ceremony at the Urban Aboriginal Voices Society’s annual community gathering at Festival Hall on Tuesday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Indigenous cultural centre needed in Red Deer

Urban Aboriginal Voices Society hosts annual community gathering

Finding a location for a cultural centre is a top priority for Red Deer’s Urban Aboriginal Voices Society.

The society, which brings together members and partners to develop action plans to promote change for Red Deer’s Indigenous community, met Tuesday for its annual community gathering at Festival Hall.

“What we’re hearing overwhelmingly is we need cultural space, more opportunity to gather, more opportunity to practise our culture, to preserve the culture and the language, but also to promote culture and language, to create more space for others who want to know about the Indigenous community, but don’t feel welcome, or don’t know how to get into the conversation,” said Tanya Schur, the society’s community facilitator.

She said the vision for Red Deer Friendship Centre’s housing project Asooahum Crossing was to include a cultural centre, but that may take five years or more to achieve.

“We’re really saying is what can we do in the interim to create this space, because the community can’t wait for five years.

“We need to create these cultural safe spaces for people to gather and practise, places to have wakes, places to have the dance troupe, drum groups, to do smudges.”

She said those kinds of Indigenous activities can be tricky to hold in an urban setting. A space needs to accommodate pipe or smudge ceremonies, or a round dance late into the night.

“When we say culture is our prevention, and culture is our cure, then we need the culturally safe space to practise that culture and engage not just the Indigenous communities, but also make that safe space for non-Indigenous people to come in and feel welcome and learn.”


Special Red Deer council meeting to adopt Urban Aboriginal Voices agreement

The pros and cons of a new national reconciliation stat holiday discussed

Schur said the society is also hearing that Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups need to continue to work together.

“We’re better together.”

Education, health, justice, housing, employment and family are other areas of focus identified by the society through community consultation.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer Salvation Army providing assistance to seniors, families through Adopt-A-Family program

The Salvation Army in Red Deer will assist seniors and families through… Continue reading

Innisfail man facing charges after short standoff with police

Man arrested after RCMP spot sotlen van in Innisfail

Odour-reduction methods are left up to the cannabis company, says Health Canada

Several technologies are available: federal regulator

Tax hike upsets pot growers

Tax changes could hurt a thriving industry: canola producers

Central Alberta experiencing a growing cockroach problem

Travellers unwittingly bringing back pests from their trips

Your community calendar

Wednesday Pain 101 class — learn to take control of your chronic… Continue reading

Disney’s Hulu is raising prices for live TV as costs escalate

Hulu’s live TV bundle for cord-cutters is about to get more expensive.… Continue reading

Ayesha Curry Thanksgiving recipe debuts on Google Assistant

NEW YORK — Ayesha Curry is used to a holiday on the… Continue reading

Speaker of the legislature pays visit to central Alberta students

Sylvan Lake elementary school students had a visit from the Speaker of… Continue reading

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to fire Don Cherry?

Do you agree with the decision to fire Don Cherry for his… Continue reading

Opinion: WHL can’t avoid fallout of Don Cherry firing

The fallout from Don Cherry’s firing at Hockey Night in Canada has… Continue reading

CTV, Jessica Allen apologize for her hockey remarks after Don Cherry’s firing

TORONTO — CTV says it is apologizing to anyone who was offended… Continue reading

High tides surge through Venice, locals rush to protect art

VENICE, Italy — Exceptionally high tidal waters surged through Venice again on… Continue reading

Most Read