Algonquin Avenue Public School Native Language Choir honored at Lakehead Music and Arts Festival – Anishinabek News

Algonquin Avenue Public School’s Native American Chorus recently performed two songs, “Anishinaabemowin,” “O’ Canada” and “Calling in the Four Directions” during the Lakehead Music and Arts Festival on April 24.

Rick Garrick

THUNDER BAY — The Algonquin Avenue Public School Native Language Chorus recently received first place and a Medal of Honor at the Lakehead Music and Arts Festival on April 24. Citizens’ Native Tongue Choir performed two songs, “Anishinaabemowin,” “O’ Canada” and “Calling in the Four Directions” at the festival’s vocal competition, held April 20-24.

“They’re awesome,” Bannon said. “‘Call from All Sides’ is a song about calling all the grandfathers east, west, south, and north to help us, to be with us, to support us.”

Bannon said the choir is made up of 18 fourth- and fifth-grade students who begin preparing for the festival during their native language classes in January, four times a week for 50 minutes a day.

“We sing a lot in the classroom,” Bannon said. “It’s important to showcase language, culture and tradition and show how important language is.”

Bannon said the main contents of the mother tongue course are speaking Anishina Abemo, conversational Ojibwe, giving presentations in Anishina Abemo, singing and learning cultural content such as prisoner of war etiquette. , jingle costumes and ribbon skirt instruction.

“Language is at the forefront of everything we do,” Bannon said.

Rizzo Paypompee-Tom, a fifth-grade student at Algonquin Avenue Public School, said he was excited to participate in the festival with the choir.

“I was nervous, but then I managed to get over it,” said Perponpi-Tom. “I just love it because it’s my true native language.”

Rizzo’s mother, Karina Tom, said her daughter, Dalena Peponpi, also performed with the choir.

“It’s great, I’m smiling, I’m really happy they’re singing on it,” Tom said. “This is their first time [Native] There’s a language choir there – it’s great, I love it.

Tom said it was important for her children to learn Anishinaabemowin in native language classes because she lost her own language.

“I’m really happy that they’re starting to learn their language,” Tom said. “They know a lot more than I do.”

Kelly Buckley and Kevin Barnard were delighted to see their daughter Aaliyah Wallans-Buckley perform with the choir.

“[It was] “She’s emotional because she’s so great and she loves to sing,” Buckley said. “She loves [Anishinaabemowin] And learning about it, it’s amazing and touching.

“This is awesome,” Barnard said. “I think it’s great that they’re bringing this language back. It’s part of what was taken away from us, and I think it’s beautiful and amazing that we can get it back.

Kiara Ambridge-Bell, a student in Confederation College’s Onajigawin Aboriginal Services Program who helped prepare the ribbon skirts for the choir, said the ribbon skirts came about during a ceremony earlier in the day.

“We have [the students] Today were involved in the birth of the ribbon dress, so they all got to be a part of holding their own ribbon dress and being able to bring their own ribbon dress into the ceremony,” Ambridge-Bell said. “The Onajigawin Aboriginal Services Program is really great for people who are trying to get involved and create transformation, change and make a difference within their communities.”

Ambridge-Bell said the students performed well in their performances.

“They practice a lot, so I love seeing them out there,” Ambridge-Bell said.

A video of the choir’s performance was posted on the Algonquin Avenue Public School Facebook page.

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