Buffalo Skull Ceremonial Reception
October 10, 2023
“What does reconciliation and reciprocity look and feel like?” This question is often asked when we are discussing Indigeneity here at Assiniboine. It’s a great question to ask because many of us have not experienced this before, until now.
On Thursday October 5th in Dauphin at a ceremonial feast, Assiniboine accepted the responsibility of hosting and keeping safe a buffalo skull from Chief Derek Nepinak from Minegoziibe Anishinabe (Pine Creek First Nation). The buffalo skull is being shared with Assiniboine to bring positive energy, resilience, safety, strength and spirituality to students, staff and faculty at the Parkland Campus.
Carol Stewart, Director at the Parkland Campus MC’d the ceremonial feast. She warmly welcomed our invited guests and introduced the North Wolf Ojibway Drum group from the Ebb & Flow First Nation who opened with a song of welcome. Kris Desjarlais, Director Indigenous Education, acknowledged the land and our responsibility to move truth and reconciliation forward through education and reciprocity.
Elder Reg Nepinak then said a prayer and lit the smudge, clearing the way for Chief Derek Nepinak to share the story of the buffalo and the significance to the people from his nation. He spoke eloquently about how the buffalo’s spirit can help students on their learning journey, and the responsibility we will have to nurture and care for the skull before transferring stewardship to Michael Cameron, Dean Community Development. The ceremony closed with a feast and an honour song by the drum group. The buffalo skull will be present at the Parkland Campus over the next year for all students, staff and faculty to enjoy and benefit from.