Selkirk, Man., students learn from Indigenous knowledge keepers as part of winter festival

Roughly 400 students from Selkirk, Man., connected with Indigenous knowledge keepers on Thursday and Friday. 

As part of Holiday Alley, a winter festival, students learned about traditional practices like tobacco tying and Indigenous music like drumming.

In Selkirk, 34 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, the knowledge carries extra weight, Holiday Alley co-founder Shirley Muir said.

“About 33 per cent of us in Selkirk identify as Indigenous and we love to dig deep into our Indigenous roots,” Muir said. 

Jeanie White Bird, a traditional helper, offered tobacco tying teachings to the students and said it was a good way to start their days off. 

Tying the ties, she said, encourages people to think about the good spirit and intentions of what they are doing and sparks good energy.

Jacqueline Bercier, a volunteer helper at Thursday’s event, said students learned teachings about the drum and a simple song to play. 

“I’m really happy we get to share this workshop with the students this year,” she said. 

Indigenous knowledge teaching events continue through the weekend as part of the city’s Holiday Alley festivities.

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