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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 28, 2016
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Gadaihongwas, an Iroquois dance troupe from Six Nations, performs in the Science Building courtyard
Gadaihongwas, an Iroquois dance troupe from Six Nations, performs in the Science Building courtyard

Headlines (News Releases)

Office of Aboriginal Initiatives

Aboriginal Awareness Week on Laurier's Waterloo campus

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Mar 8/11| For Immediate Release


Melissa Ireland, Coordinator, Aboriginal Student Support Services
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 4190 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Iroquois dancers, a top comedian and a question-and-answer session called “Aboriginal 101 – Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask” are just some of the events scheduled for Laurier’s first annual Aboriginal Awareness Week March 7 to 11 at Laurier’s Waterloo campus.

The opening ceremony will be held March 7 at 5 p.m. in Laurier’s Science Building Courtyard. The ceremony will feature an Iroquois dance troupe from Six Nations called Gadaihongwas, or Dancing Flower, which will perform and provide cultural presentations.

“This awareness week is a way for the Laurier community to come together and celebrate Aboriginal heritage, culture and community,” said Melissa Ireland, Laurier’s Aboriginal student support coordinator. “We welcome people to understand our world view and where it’s coming from, and to see how vibrant the Aboriginal community is on the Laurier campus in terms of faculty, staff and students.”

Darren Thomas, a motivational speaker and Laurier graduate student, will host a comedy hypnosis show March 8 at 6 p.m. in the Peters Building room 3007. Top Aboriginal comedian Don Burnstick will close the week with a performance March 11 at 7 p.m. in the Turret.

Aboriginal 101” will be held in the Grad Lounge March 9 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Ireland said it’s an opportunity for people to ask questions that they may not normally feel comfortable asking.

“It’s a safe setting to learn and ask questions,” Ireland said. “There is a lot of mystery and mystic around Aboriginal culture.”

For a full list of events, visit: All events are open to the public, and most are free.

Tickets for the Don Burnstick show are $10 for students and $20 for all other attendees. They can be purchased at the Waterloo Aboriginal Student Centre at 187 Albert St., the Brantford Aboriginal Resource Centre in room MP 114, or at the Faculty of Social Work building in Kitchener at 120 Duke St. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

For more information, contact Melissa Ireland at


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