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Last week, the second annual Indigenous Day Celebration was hosted at Provo High School.
Three main groups were celebrated during this evening celebration and took turns giving different presentations. These included Native American, Latino/Hispanic, and Pacific Islander. The presentations began with Saanii Atsitty, who works at the Native American Village at This is the Place Heritage Park, shared a Dine oral story and spoke about several Navajo traditions such as the Navajo clan system and the Navajo matriarchal society. Following this presentation, the Latino/Hispanic group presentation revolved around Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). They shared how the holiday is important because they celebrate the lives of their loved ones who have passed on. The presentation ended with the People of the Pacific program, where many amazing Samoan and Tongan dances were shared.
Throughout the night, many aspects of different cultures were able to be celebrated and shared through both word and song. The Latino/Hispanic students from the district performed Las Raspa and Los Viejitos, the PCSD Title VI students performed many different dances – including the hoop dance and jingle dress, and Ed Napia (from the Urban Indian Center of SLC) shared a Maori chant.
The evening ended with Ed Napia encouraging everyone to be proud of who they are and how they are all strong, resilient, and very much present in the world. A great ending to a wonderful night of sharing beautiful cultural traditions and appreciating people from all cultures. Thank you to all who helped to put on such a great celebration and thank you to the over 400 attendees for your support.