As part of the lead-up to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Pat Porter Active Living Centre held a special luncheon on Tuesday. 

Executive Director Audrey Harder says they had a Metis lunch, and a program that included traditional hoop dancers, a powwow dancer, and a few speeches. 

“We recognize how important it is to honor all people and part of our community. Truth and reconciliation is our history, it's who we are today and it's who we're going to be in the future, we need to be aware. “ 

Sisters Carrisa and Kimberley Mason performed a traditional hoop dance in full regalia. 

Carrisa says there aren't many hoop dancers left, but they love carrying on the tradition. 

“We learned from a few different dancers and also by going to powwows and watching their work and their footwork and just being inspired by other dancers. It's quite amazing to be dancers representing indigenous culture for Reconciliation Day and Every Child Matters event. It's pretty amazing.” 

@steinbach_online The Pat Porter Active Living Centre hosted an event, honouring National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Featuring The Mason Hoop Dancers and Lauren Stevenson, a powwow dancer attendees enjoyed an afternoon, filled with dance, education and stories. #s#steinbacht#truthandreconciliationh#hoopdance ♬ original sound - SteinbachOnline

Ginger Mason is Carrisa and Kimberley’s mother. She notes she is incredibly proud of her daughters and work that they do, sharing their culture. 

“That's a part of reconciliation when we gather and embrace each other. We embrace our cultures together and we accept each other, and we learn from each other, and we love each other where we don't discriminate. That's what we can do as Canadians. It's not just a day to wear an orange shirt, it's an action, every day we have to take our own step and our take our own part in reconciliation.” 

Mason says her family was connected to and hurt by the residential school system, but they are now embracing who they are in a big way.  

Audrey Harder says the event was very well received. She encourages residents of the Southeast to take part in these types of activities. She notes one way that the staff at the Pat Porter Active Living Centre took part this week was to watch the daily stories that were shared on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission YouTube channel.  

Indigenous dancers on stageDancers Kimberly Mason and Lauren Stevenson performed at a special event on Tuesday at the Pat Porter Active Living Centre in Steinbach.

-With files from Carly Koop.


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