Indigenous Grad Ceremony

I graduated from the school of the roadrunners in 2018, I also attended the indigenous grad ceremony and have been photographing it every year since. I am fortunate enough to be able to attend this amazing event and watch it grow every single year. I remember being grateful to learn about my culture and get to be a part of a ceremony that promotes leadership and cultural pride. I got to be surrounded by the people who I felt in a way connected to by heritage and an wanting to know more about our past. To me, this event was one of the few that helped me actually be able to go to post secondary and gain the skills to pursue my passion.

As I got to photograph the ceremony this year, I got to see the faces of many indigenous grads, who were happy to be there and wanted to learn more about their culture. I saw students with unstoppable similes and laughter as they prepared themselves for a ceremony that will stay with them forever as it did for me. I got to see students ask the elders endless questions about the sash and the blankets, wanting to know more and learn as much as they could from the elders while they had their attention, which almost made them late to lining up and actually starting the ceremony, oops! but I am filled with joy seeing that. I also noticed that a lot of the grads had hand made jewelry and clothes from their band or family, which really showed that they are truly trying to connect to their culture.

As I got to work with the grads, I am looking forward to see what they set out to do with their future, they were all very respectful, kind and full of curiosity. All the foundations of our culture and being young and ready to take on the world. With this event, I hope that it will connect the students and the scholarships that were handed out will also help the students with pursuing their passions and will help them push to achieve their goals.

One word from me for all the grads, as I was also one of you and attended the same ceremony. I wish you nothing but the best and this event is to also show you that you are not alone, you have a community that believes in you and will support you. We stand stronger together and will pass on what we learn so we can achieve our dreams.

Congratulations grad class of 2023!