On Saturday, February 23, 2013, I had the honor of attending the third powwow hosted by Conestoga College Aboriginal Student Services. This event has grown each year and yesterday was no exception! There were 6 drums and so many dancers, young and old. I got to spend time with the community and meet some new friends! I spoke last month about introducing you to our drum, our women and our children, today I introduce you to the beauty that comes from our youth as they learn our traditional ways and songs. They have an inner light that shines through as they show us their regalia, which is traditionally a project that they take on and make themselves, learning teachings and interacting with traditional elders. As they learn self respect and more importantly respect for others, the challenges of creating their regalia is a true lesson that is included in the rites of passage that our children and youth are now receiving, thus creating a more healthy and balanced lifestyle that they can be so proud of! I had the pleasure of watching one of our community member’s sons; sing his first song in public, and had tears of joy and such a feeling of humility and pride to see this young man stand in front of his community and drum and sing for us! Our children and our youth are standing up and taking notice of the youth of yesterday, as they continue to lead and teach that it is okay to be “Native”. The pride they feel as they show us what they have practiced and created whether it be the drums they make, the regalia they have created or the dancing style they have learned, is what it is all about.