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Voices on the Wind brings out a large crowd in Boyd’s Cove

The Sipuji’j Drummers Group and Mi’kmaq Dancers made the trip from Conne River to take part.
The Sipuji’j Drummers Group and Mi’kmaq Dancers made the trip from Conne River to take part.

BOYD’S COVE, NL – His voice strained with emotion, Clint Jeddore stretched his arms to the sky and thanked his ancestors.

Those watching sat captivated outside the Beothuk Interpretation Centre - Provincial Historic Site in Boyd’s Cove.

The Interpretation Centre is in the area of a 400-year-old Beothuk village. It contains the remains of 11 house pits used by the Beothuk, many artifacts, and the spirits of his people, says Jeddore.

Heidi Scarfone from Hamilton, Ont. participated in a smudging ceremony led by Cyrus Lambert.

“I can see the spirits. I know that our fallen brothers and sisters from the Beothuk, they are here with us today,” he said.

Jeddore is a founding member of the Sipuji’j Drummers Group and one of the Mi’kmaq Dancers that made the trip from Conne River to celebrate Voices on the Wind.

Andrew Hinks of the Sipuji’j Drummers Group grins at elder Clint Jeddore.

“Voices on the Wind has been a staple event at the centre since 2011,” says site supervisor Karen LeDrew-Day.
With no formal agenda, the event is a mixture of dance, song and ceremony. Participants also had an opportunity to participate in a smudging ceremony.

Smudging, according to Indigenous culture, is a cleansing smoke used to purify an individual’s body, aura or energy. Smudging is also used to cleanse a ceremonial space or any other space, as well as personal articles.

Mi’kmaq jingle dancer Cassidy Lambert at the Beothuk Interpretation Centre - Provincial Historic Site in Boyd’s Cove.

The ceremony was performed in the centre’s Spirit Garden. Marie Eastman, a long-time member of the Exploits Native Women’s group, inspired the garden as a way to honour the Beothuk People, says LeDrew-Day. The garden is place for all people to gather, reflect, connect and participate in Indigenous ceremonies.

“Many (people) are connecting emotionally, physically and spiritually,” said LeDrew-Day. “To honour the Beothuk People you can leave a spiritual token in memory of the Beothuk or a loved one.”

Despite the event being in its seventh year and little change to the program, LeDrew-Day says the event is still popular with locals and tourists alike. With roughly 200 people in attendance and a burgeoning parking lot at this year’s event, LeDrew-Day says she expects the event, and its popularity, to continue for many years to come.

“Since the opening the garden has become one of those incredible stories,” said LeDrew-Day. “A place of healing peace and satisfaction, the Beothuk People are honoured and remembered here everyday.”

Patrick.Murphy@advertisernl.ca

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