Our Aboriginal Roots

Curated by Ala Asadchaya with guidance from Shelley Charles
Photography by Jeremy Sale
Additional images from the Humber College Image Bank
 
Click on any photo below to see the full gallery 

 
Aboriginal events on the Lakeshore grounds have always provided an opportunity to learn and celebrate of Aboriginal culture in South Etobicoke. These events help build balanced relationships by bringing people together and uniting our community. They do so by promoting tradition and sharing invaluable knowledge and wisdom of First Nation’s people. The activities held on the Lakeshore grounds are appropriate, as it rekindles our respect for and responsibility to our community and to our natural environment.
Dreamcatcher Workshops
 
In 2014 and 2015, during Aboriginal Awareness Week and Culture Days, creative dreamcatcher workshops were organized by the Aboriginal Resource Centre at Humber College’s L Space Gallery and, on the Lakeshore grounds in partnership with the Assembly Hall.  Students and members of the Humber community and Lakeshore area learned how to make dreamcatchers - an Ojibwe tradition that is a popular and meaningful craft by Aboriginal artists.
 
Image1template
Image1template

Dreamcatcher is a significant Aboriginal tradition and artifact. Originally, a dreamcatcher with willow branches, sinew and small objects, was intended to protect a child in a cradleboard from bad dreams and provide positive energy to catch good ones.

Image2
Image2

The craft workshop helped establish communication between ambassadors of the Aboriginal Resource Centre and students participated in their workshops. The participants, by creating meaningful objects, which were representative of Indigenous culture, left with a deeper understanding and appreciation of ways of living by Indigenous people.

Image3
Image3

The importance of hosting these workshops rests in the return of original meaning of the Native American dreamcatcher. It claims back what historically was being considered by Europeans as a commodity, and reestablishes the dreamcatcher as a sacred object representing good and bad forces.

Aboriginal Events
 
The Aboriginal Resource Centre (ARC) at Humber College runs a number of events dedicated to  Indigenous culture. Some of the celebrations are hosted in partnership with the Assembly Hall during Culture Days. For information about upcoming ARC events, please visit here.

Every Aboriginal event held on the grounds is significant in recognizing the longstanding Ojibwe Anishinaabe history in the area. In fact, the names ‘Etobicoke’ and ‘Mimico’ originate from the Aboriginal languages of Anishinaabe. “Etobicoke” is an anglicized adaptation of a Mississaugan word  that means the "place where the alders grow." Mimico is named after the now-extinct Passenger Pigeon, a bird species that was previously thriving in South Etobicoke. The word Mimico is an Ojiibwe word omiimiikka that translates to “abundant with wild pigeons”.

The roots of Aboriginal history goes into the depth of unrecorded time. Different Aboriginal groups have lived in Southern Ontario  for more than 10 000 years. During the Aboriginal history period, Native populations mainly were occupied with hunting, fishing, agriculture and trade. Traditions, crafts and believes of numerous Aboriginal communities have been a brightened and unique feature of diverse Canadian culture.  Nowadays, many Aboriginal narratives of Canadian shared history are recognised and reconciled through practices and celebrations of Aboriginal culture, in which performances of the powwow play a significant role. They help to nurture appreciation for Aboriginal traditions.
2340
2340

Image taken from Humber College Image Bank The powwow is an Aboriginal ceremony that includes traditional storytelling, dancing, singing and drumming. Participants traditionally wear hand-made regalia and carry out the powwow through captivating rhythms of drums and authentic dance styles.

DSC_7109
DSC_7109

Photograph by Jeremy Sale The powwow is an Aboriginal ceremony that includes traditional storytelling, dancing, singing and drumming. Participants traditionally wear hand-made regalia and carry out the powwow through captivating rhythms of drums and authentic dance styles.

750_1165
750_1165

Photograph by Jeremy Sale All dance styles that are represented by the powwow dancers are striking and captivating. There are men’s traditional, men’s grass dance,men’s fancy dance, women’s traditional dance, women’s fancy jingle dance and women’s fancy shawl dance. Each dancer wears handmade regalia, which is very personal and unique, with a lot of elaborated details.

750_1212
750_1212

Photograph by Jeremy Sale All dance styles that are represented by the powwow dancers are striking and captivating. There are men’s traditional, men’s grass dance,men’s fancy dance, women’s traditional dance, women’s fancy jingle dance and women’s fancy shawl dance. Each dancer wears handmade regalia, which is very personal and unique, with a lot of elaborated details.

2342
2342

Image taken from Humber College Image Bank The women’s shawl dance features bright colors of the shawl that a female dancer wears over the shoulders and incorporates into the dance Click on the link for more information.

2343
2343

Image taken from Humber College Image Bank The women’s shawl dance features bright colors of the shawl that a female dancer wears over the shoulders and incorporates into the dance Click on the link for more information.

750_1102
750_1102

Photograph by Jeremy Sale The intention of the powwow is to gather people from many communities to socialize and celebrate traditional Indigenous culture. The powwows hosted on the Lakeshore Grounds gather not only the students and faculty staff of Humber college, but also the unique Lakeshore community: local residents, immigrants of diverse backgrounds, families with children and visitors of the South Etobicoke area and Toronto. The first powwow at the Lakeshore Campus was held in 2009.

750_1106
750_1106

Photograph by Jeremy Sale The intention of the powwow is to gather people from many communities to socialize and celebrate traditional Indigenous culture. The powwows hosted on the Lakeshore Grounds gather not only the students and faculty staff of Humber college, but also the unique Lakeshore community: local residents, immigrants of diverse backgrounds, families with children and visitors of the South Etobicoke area and Toronto. The first powwow at the Lakeshore Campus was held in 2009.

750_1137
750_1137

Photograph by Jeremy Sale The intention of the powwow is to gather people from many communities to socialize and celebrate traditional Indigenous culture. The powwows hosted on the Lakeshore Grounds gather not only the students and faculty staff of Humber college, but also the unique Lakeshore community: local residents, immigrants of diverse backgrounds, families with children and visitors of the South Etobicoke area and Toronto. The first powwow at the Lakeshore Campus was held in 2009.

DSC_7135
DSC_7135

Photograph by Jeremy Sale The rhythmical sounds of drums that call Aboriginal people together represent the heartbeat of people. They invite spectators to join in a powerful dance that trigger new emotions and feeling of unity.

DSC_7137
DSC_7137

Photograph by Jeremy Sale It is a live, vivid and very emotional cultural experience, which had been practiced a long time ago and was passed from one generation to another. This unique traditional practice promotes not only Indigenous culture among other social groups, but also involves its participants in a healthy and peaceful activity.

Acknowledgements: Jeremy Sale

 

Jeremy Sale is a portrait and event photographer in Etobicoke. A self-taught shutterbug, he prefers to capture candid emotion, rather than self-conscious posterity. "Most of us—myself included—don't have the ability to reveal emotion while looking down the barrel of a lens. For example: imagine two wedding photos: the first is a model-perfect bride, holding flowers and smiling. The second is a teary-eyed bride, as she chokes up during Dad's speech. Which photo would put a lump in your throat—even if you didn't know her—the one where the mascara is perfect... or the one where the moment is?"

 

 

 

This work is protected under Canadian and international copyright law and may not be downloaded, reproduced, distributed or otherwise used except for personal, non-commercial purposes, without the express written consent of Jeremy Sale or Humber College.

 

Jeremy Sale and Humber College possess the exclusive right to produce, reproduce, publish, perform, exhibit, transmit or retransmit the work by telecommunication, create derivative works, sell, rent, offer for sale or rent, exhibit by way of trade, or distribute the work in whole or in part. It is unlawful to exercise any of the above rights or to alter or modify the Work without the prior written consent of the Artist.