On Saturday, the Living Sky Casino revived the Round Dance for the first time in over a decade.
The traditional indigenous celebration brought out all sorts of people from across the southwest prairies. From Nekaneet elders, residents, and even a few of the Lii Bufloo Métis Local #35.
Everyone who came out enjoyed not only a traditional feast but was able to join in on the Round Dance with guidance from those same elders.
Helping get everything organized and running for the first Round Dance since 2011 was Living Sky Casino General Manager, Ashley Petersen.
"It was great to bring this event back to the community and be an opportunity to showcase some of the First Nations culture we have right here in the Southwest," said Petersen.
Close to 250 individuals participated in the event. Together, they learned how the Round Dance operates, the cultural significance behind it, along what it represents.
In the dance itself, people link hands and circulate the room while executing simple footwork. A chorus of indigenous singers with drums typically provides the musical accompaniment, providing a beat and rhythm to follow.
The purpose of the Round Dance has not changed much since ancient times. Historically hosted during the colder parts of the year, it is used as a method of inspiring social interaction and fostering community. This is the same as today, with the added caveat of being of a more culturally informative instance.
Petersen extended thanks to the MC Howie Thompson, along with Stickman Brad Goodwill, and the elders from the Nekaneet First Nation.
"They were essentially consultants in the process with the Living Sky Casino Planning Committee," said Petersen. "In helping us make sure that all the First Nations cultural components were in place and that we were doing everything respectfully."
Petersen plans to ensure that the Round Dance is once again a more regular occurrence at the Casino, inviting everyone to come out and experience the fun and culture.