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The Gros Morne Indigenous Cultural Festival is being planned to bring indigenous peoples from across the province together to share elements of their culture with each other, the people of our province, and park visitors.  It will also be a significant opportunity for our people; artisans, story-tellers, knowledge keepers, musicians and crafts people, to share their talents and gifts, as well as acquire new skills through training opportunities associated with this event.

I am thankful to the people who contributed input to our discussion session held Wednesday, May 31st regarding the planning of the Festival.  I have also been following discussions on social media and out in the community.  It is through hearing the point of view of a broad range of community people that we plan how to best move forward.  Likewise, our initial meeting in Cow Head, with representatives from the municipality and members of the Mi’kmaq community, was very positive.

We will continue with consultations as we plan the agenda.  Our next step is further engagement with the communities of the Northern Peninsula.  A town hall meeting involving Cow Head and adjacent communities is being planned.  We recognize the importance of support and leadership from those communities.

We have heard your voices.  Our focus for the event going forward will be to create an opportunity for indigenous artisans and crafts people, singers, drummers, story tellers and knowledge keepers to celebrate our unique and diverse cultures.  We will continue to seek and follow the advice of Elders and knowledge keepers to ensure a respectful, culturally sensitive and family-based event.

Sherry Dean,
Chair, Qalipu Cultural Foundation