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Nanaimo event focused on pride for aboriginal culture

Aboriginal pride and culture take centre stage in a new series of events.

The Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre and Mid Island Metis Nation have launched a monthly family night, aimed at giving urban aboriginal families a chance to reconnect and explore culture.

According to Chris Beaton, executive director for the aboriginal centre, there have been very few opportunities until now for people to come together and share languages, songs, stories and regalia.

As part of the new initiative, a different aboriginal culture group in Nanaimo will host the event each month, sharing culture and providing the main meal.

On Tuesday (Jan. 14), members of the Snuneymuxw First Nation will take on the program.

“I think there are some universal values in aboriginal culture and all indigenous cultures ... the respect for elders, the importance of food and gatherings, of celebrations, of community – [and] we are reminded of those commonalities when we come together,” Beaton said, adding it also helps to inspire pride in culture some urban aboriginal families might have lost touch with.

Aboriginal Family Night is heading into its fourth event. Its hosts are opening the doors to everyone in the community, with hopes of not only connecting aboriginal families but creating relationships and a greater understanding of different cultures in the Harbour City.

“So many people are talking about reconciliation and it comes back to this fundamental point that we need to learn more about each other and ... this provides that opportunity,” Beaton said.

The dinner includes a main meal, which is sponsored by Thrifty Foods.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own plates and cutlery.

Family Night takes place at 201-96 Cavan Street.

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