Round Dancing at night in Fort McKay
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Fort McKay Treaty Days – The event that makes this the REAL Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Indigenous Cultural event, celebrating community connection culture, chief mel grand jambe at event

What could be better than a weekend event causing connecting and celebrating? This year the appreciation for connection was certainly apparent in more magical moments than I can share but here are some that had me choking back the tears:

Indigenous Leadership, rmwb, Fort Mckay

Chief Mel Grandjamb taking it all in at the opening ceremonies, photographed through the Eagle Staff which led the processional to start the event.

bike parade

“It’s her first time ever riding a bike!” He yelled excitedly at me. She had her brand new bicycle all decorated as she strolled down the street like a pro in the bike parade. This moment where she looked up to see the pride beaming on his face still makes me cry. All of the kids did a great job decorating their bikes and themselves! They certainly weren’t letting anything ‘Rain on their parade’ 😉

bike parade

Fort Mckay is one of my favourite places on earth, because so many people that I love live there. This little guy’s mom was in my class for grade’s 7 & 8 when I used to teach.

Lots of hard work was done to create some amazing floats for the parade to kick off the event.

Angela Woods  at event

But before the parade could even start the hugs were on!

Chief Raymond Powder and Elder Lina Gallup at event

The magic of connection was not exclusively to humans this weekend, Nitotem from the Arctic Winter Games was in on the action too!

arctic winter games mascot in parade

Crystal Young, CEO of Fort Mckay Metis Group was just as excited as the kids to see Nitotem though!

Crystal Young at Event

And of course there had to be firetrucks in the parade, especially since Fort Mckay just opened a state of the art, beautiful new fire hall!

child saluting fire trucks in parade event

This brilliant, happy, beauty was in my grade 8 and 9 classes and just graduated from U of S! She’s going to make the world a better place so watch out for her.

Star Grandjamb

Speaking of people who make the world a better place this is Lina Gallup and one day we’ll probably see her face on money. This weekend we celebrated Lina’s life so far, all 90 years of it! I can’t do her story justice in a short summary, so check out this documentary her incredible daughter Holly made by clicking on one of her photos below:

Elder Lina Gallup
lina gallup at round dance
Fort McKay round dance event

The entire weekend saw a softball tournament wit some awesome plays and a ton of laughs.

softball you're out

And the corporate tug of war was as entertaining as ever, with the Bouchier women’s team as a last minute entry that took the trophy!

Bouchier tug of war team at event

Treaty Days brings out the best dancers, and this year lived up to the hype!

Event jigging competition

The first evening had magic moments of connection during McKay idol, with stage performances and dancing in the rain.

Day 2’s highlight may have been the concerts, but for Audrey and Norman there was something shining a little brighter! Congrats!

The daytime concerts included Ab-Originalz which are also former students of mine and a super talented with heart. You can check out their facebook page by clicking on their image.

I even got a hat from Felix, who also happens to be a councillor for Fort Mckay Metis now (I’m so proud of him).

When local legend Stephanie Harpe brought her new team (Stephanie Harpe Experience) along the place started bumping – literally, the speaker was jumping!

Indigenous Event

Streetheart took the stage after Stephanie Harpe Experience warmed up the crowd.

Next up was Big Wreck, and as the rain started to intensify it wasn’t chasing anybody away.

outdoor concert event

We even had local super musician Max Noseworthy pop out to enjoy and cheer them on!

As always Fort McKay knows how to put on a show, so in addition to their fireworks they also had a drone light show!

fireworks at treaty days event

But the event wasn’t over with the fireworks!

event with fireworks

Day 3 saw the return to Canoe Races after a 5 year haitus and there may have been a few out of practice racers

but they turned it around (switched canoes) and then were all laughs…

Canoe Races

The races were fierce

And the crowd had lots of advice!

I love Christmas and all, but there’s something about gathering with hundreds of amazing people to have fun and celebrate in the summer that edges Treaty Days just a bit I think…

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