Skip to main content

Round Dance and Poetry Reading

A central image portraying Indigenous performers, flanked by images of two Indigenous poets.

Part of the 2022 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Programming at OCAD University. See more events happening at OCAD U from September 26 to 30, 2022, to commemorate the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

Friday, September 30, 2022 - 11:30 am-12:30 pm at Butterfield Park (south of 100 McCaul St.)

Many First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities all across this land are celebrating birthday parties for relatives who have survived residential schools and as a symbolic honouring of all the children who never returned home. This idea comes directly from the survivors—many of whom have commented on how, as children, in addition to all the other hardships and horrors endured, they didn’t get to have a ‘birthday’ for all the years they were abducted.

OCAD University Indigenous Education Council member and 2021 Governor General’s Award winner Cheryl L’Hirondelle has shared a round dance version of a Happy Birthday song she composed with specially invited Indigenous two-spirited and women singers/drummers from Ontario and other parts of this land now known as Canada. Together they will sing the song in different Indigenous languages as a joyful remembrance and as sacred acts of Indigenous survival.

This lunch-time event will also be an opportunity for all to feel the importance of the ongoing work of Truth and Reconciliation with special poems from legendary Anishinaabe Poet Duke Redbird (and 2013 OCAD U Honorary Doctorate recipient) and Cree Poet Laureate of Parliament Louise B. Halfe to further the important message that “every child matters.”

Performers from M'Girl (left) and the Nipisy singers (right), some of the many singers/drummers who will participate in the Round Dance and Poetry Reading event.


This event is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts – Inter-Arts Program.