If I would like to invite you to include the Festival Innu Nikamu in your summer 2018 projects, it is that it takes place on the North Shore and that this event allows you to visit an Aboriginal community, in what it’s doing best. First of all, I can tell you a lot about the North Shore, I was born there, my spouse as well. And we lived there a great part of our lives. But in my humble opinion, reconciliation, so much desired by Canadians and First Nations, cannot only happen through the intervention of governments. If there was a mixture of curiosity without judgment, I think I could see, during my lifetime, more harmonious relations between us.
This is the second event in which I participate (Festival Manitou in Mont-Tremblant, being the first), where there is no politics or evocation of social problems, let alone taxes. At both events, I saw First Nations people who were proud to present what they were doing best. And non-natives, eager to see and learn more. All these people wanted to get to know each other and share. Who has not danced to the wild rhythms of Kashtin in his « partys » of the holiday season? Who has never enjoyed the maple sugar products? And smoked salmon?
At Innu Nikamu, as at the Manitou Festival, I met some unforgettable people. Whether they are registered indians or not, they have all left an indelible memory. I was impressed with their openness and their willingness to share, which is very different from what we see in media. The events that Aboriginal communities offer are an expression of their identity but also an invitation not to be missed.
Be it a Pow Wow, a musical or cultural gathering, these events are free of alcohol and drugs. Regardless of the identity of the intoxicated person, she is invited, respectfully, to leave the premises. The sites where these events take place are sacred and must remain so for the duration of these events. It is up to each individual, on both sides, to demonstrate respect for organizations that put their hearts and souls at the service of the population to organize these events.
The North Shore is not just spruce, black flies and cold. It is also friendly people, seafood and blueberries. But also medicinal plants, evergreens, and know-how, which are an integral part of our aromatherapy perfumes. Innu Nakamu is full of talented, often self-taught musicians, performing in public, in front of thousands of people. Sometimes for the first time the first time.
Third episode, next week !!!
Innnuuuu Nikamuuuuu !!!