Sask. woman shares Indigenous traditions in Minneapolis to honour George Floyd
YORKTON -- A Saskatchewan woman is sharing her Indigenous traditions to honour George Floyd one year after he was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer.
Desirae Desnomie is from Peepeekisis First Nation, but now lives a few hours outside of Minneapolis. Desnomie and her family were invited to offer a land acknowledgement at George Floyd Square on the one year anniversary of his death through their band Midnite Express.
Historically, Minneapolis is the land of the Dakota and Nishnawbe people.
Desnomie said she was honoured to be asked.
“We were adding space to come into this in a good way as Indigenous people and standing in solidarity with George Floyd, his family, and the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Desnomie.
Midnite Express began with a side step song, which was accompanied by the jingle dress. The group then went on to explain the significance of the jingle dress and how it represents both healing and pride. From there, they did a land acknowledgement, sang an honour song, and collectively prayed for Floyd and his family.
The overall experience was emotional for Desnomie.
“We didn’t know what to expect when we were going there and we were just really mindful of bringing our good energy and our prayers in the best way that we can,” she said.
Protests erupted across Canada following Floyd’s murder demanding for change. Rhonda Rosenberg, executive director of Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, said that there lots yet to be done.
“We definitely have not come to terms with colonialism and the role that it plays in every aspect of our society and that means anti-Indigenous racism plays out constantly,” said Rosenberg.
Basi Kogbisa, co-director of external relations of Black in Sask, said that conversations are an important step toward social and institutional change.
“Addressing social issues and just as a community is a community effort. Black in Sask works great with the black community, and that is amazing, but if more people are involved from the other intersectionality’s of life, I honestly think that is the way that we move forward in a productive and sustainable manner.”