Ceremonial grounds a place for healing
Marlon LaForte, CONTRIBUTOR
Students and staff at Red River College can learn more about Indigenous culture after recent developments at the school’s ceremonial grounds.
The grounds are located northwest of RRC’s Notre Dame Campus.
Right now, the grounds are nothing more than a small grassy area with change rooms. However, there is space for a sweat lodge to be erected when a ceremony is called.
Jules Lavallee, an elder at RRC, came up with the idea to build a sweat lodge at the college. After years of discussions, it’s now coming together.
“It will be a place for healing, but also a place for learning,” Lavallee said.
Lavallee said he hopes the grounds help not only Indigenous students, but also non-Indigenous students, by educating them on Indigenous traditions and culture.
Mae Louise Campbell, another elder at RRC, said she believes educational facilities must recognize that, in order to succeed, Indigenous students need to feel welcome.
“It’s very important for when they come to these educational facilities that make them feel more at home,” Campbell said. “It’s very crucial that the students can go into ceremony.”
It takes about one day to put up the sweat lodge. There are plans to expand the ceremonial grounds, including
for powwows and setting up teepees, according to RRC’s Red Blog.
The college is making these efforts during what Mayor Brian Bowman is calling the Year of Reconciliation.