The Wije’winen Cultural Circle & Showcase, May 3 - 6 in Grand Parade
(Kjpuktuk - Halifax, NS) -- Wije’winen in Mi’kmaq means ‘come with us’. This May 3 - 6, the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre (MNFC) is inviting people to join in their daily program in honour of the 2023 East Coast Music Awards.“We are especially pleased to be able to share, stage and highlight our rich Mi’kmaq culture in the centre of Kjipuktuk as we transform the Grand Parade into the Wije’winen Cultural Circle,” said Pam Glode Desrochers, MNFC Executive Director & ECMA LEC Co-chair. “We applaud the organizers of ECMA 2023 and HRM for providing this incredible opportunity to showcase our community and our people.”
Halifax’s Grand Parade will come alive with a variety of activities and performances running daily from 12 – 4 pm. The program begins on May 3rd with a sunrise ceremony at 9 am followed later by an opening blessing and program kick-off at 12 noon including special remarks and a performance of the Honour Song.
“There will be so many opportunities for the general public to participate and share in Indigenous culture throughout the ECMAs, it will be a true cultural exchange of music, song and dance,” said MNFC Elder Debbie Eisan. “We want to spread the word as far and wide as possible to invite and welcome ECMA delegates and the general public to participate, I’m particularly excited for our round dance to happen in such central and accessible location.”
The weekend will have a backdrop of lit teepees, a sacred fire, traditional Mi’kmaq hand drumming and many styles of competitive Indigenous dance including the grass dance, women’s and men’s traditional, fancy shawl, jingle dress as well as the Mi’kmaq Ko’jua. On May 4th Aaron Prosper will lead a Ko’jua tutorial all are welcome to join in followed by the MNFC Atelhai program’s presentation Inuit throat singing. A tobacco offering has also been added to the May 5th schedule in recognition of the National Day of Awareness surrounding Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. The Wije’winen Cultural Circle will culminate with a showcase of community drumming, dance and spoken word on May 6th.
"The ECMA is honoured and excited to partner with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre as they deliver a four-day program celebrating Mi’kmaq culture on Grand Parade. The Wije’winen Cultural Circle activities are a fundamental part of the ECMA’s 35th Anniversary celebrations, and we encourage everyone to attend this unforgettable event,” said Andy McLean CEO of the ECMA.