The Native Centre is preparing to celebrate student success at their annual Aboriginal Graduation Banquet and Pow-Wow on June 9.
With more than 100 eligible Aboriginal students this year—including four PhD graduates—the event is focused on honouring graduates after years of commitment and achievement.
For Yvonne Poitras Pratt, PhD in communication studies, the evening is much more symbolic than the walk graduates take across the official convocation stage.
“The banquet marks the capstone of our educational journey,” says Poitras Pratt. “The true power of the evening stems from the joining together of the Aboriginal community, which makes our accomplishments that much more real.”
Graduates will participate in an honouring ceremony, where they will be presented with an eagle feather by elders from the Aboriginal community and Pendleton blankets by university faculty and senior administration. Both the feather and the blanket are symbolic gestures that hold great cultural significance. The evening will conclude with a traditional pow-wow.
Poitras Pratt indicates The Native Centre’s legacy of support extends far beyond the banquet.
“Having a place like The Native Centre on campus was not only vital but pivotal to my success,” says Poitras Pratt. “It represented a place where I could ground and reaffirm myself as an Aboriginal, and my journey would not have been as rich without it.”
2012 Aboriginal Graduation Banquet and Pow-Wow
The Native Centre is committed to enriching the quality of the student experience for Aboriginal learners at the University of Calgary, and to promoting the beauty, vitality, and diversity of Aboriginal culture within the University community.
Contact The Native Centre for more information.