June 9, 2022

Treaty 7 Traditional Knowledge Keepers and Elders explain history and meaning of Round Dance June 14

Indigenous History Month event explores importance of this open ceremony
Indigenous History Month
University of Calgary

The Round Dance plays an important part in the culture of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. In honour of National Indigenous History Month, the Office of Indigenous Engagement (OIE) will present a special event on June 14 featuring Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers discussing the meaning of Round Dance. 

This event will explore the history of Round Dance and how it celebrates the history, culture and resiliency of Indigenous Peoples. A Round Dance is an open ceremony, intended for healing and remembrance, that brings people together to celebrate life.  

“The Round Dance is important, especially after COVID, because it is a time to socialize as a community. Gathering as a community not only strengthens ties, but also is an integral part of Indigenous culture,” says event moderator Elissa Twoyoungmen, BA’15, Indigenous cultural education and protocol specialist with OIE. She cites one of the tenets of UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p:

This event falls under one of four key areas, Indigenous Ways of Knowing. It is important for our campus community to engage in these cultural events on our journey to walk together, in a good way.

Traditional Knowledge Keepers and Elders have been invited to share their perspectives on the Round Dance. Elder Rod Hunter and Traditional Knowledge Keeper Hal Eagletail will speak about the history and meaning of Round Dance. Hunter will further talk about the different types of Round Dance, presenting videos of two songs. Elder Reg Crowshoe, Hon. LLD’01, will speak about a Blackfoot style of dance called the tea dance.  

"The Round Dance is a traditional gathering of numerous nations in celebration of a specific cause.” Hunter says. “Although it has evolved from a ceremonial activity to today's gathering, it retains the pipe ceremony." 

A Q-and-A will take place following the presentation. 

Registration is now open for this virtual event

Event details 

Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2022 
Time: 12 – 1:30 p.m. MT 
Location: Zoom 

Register here 

ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. Walking parallel paths together, “in a good way,” UCalgary is moving toward genuine reconciliation and Indigenization.