Run As One Music Festival look to inspire Siksika youth to greatness

Inspiration was the goal and great music was the outcome as Siksika Health Services held its 17th annual Run As One Music Festival Thursday.

It was all part of its youth awareness week on Siksika Nation, which organizers say offers “a blend of arts, culture and health programming” — capping off with the music festival headlined by The Halluci Nation (formerly A Tribe Called Red) and 2021 Polaris Prize nominee Zoon on International Youth Day. 

The Halluci Nation spins some tunes as the sun goes down on Siksika Nation. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

“I would just like them to experience the music and I think it puts you in a place where you can feel safe,” said Zoon before taking the stage to promote his album Below The Waves, which he says speaks of his own healing journey.

The free event, which had a blend of COVID-19 safe pods and drive-in spots, also boasted a number of speakers, including Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme from Saskatchewan who offered some words and stories to the crowd. 

Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme shared his story and stories passed down from his elders to the crowd before going out to take pictures and visit with his provincial neigbours. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

“This is a moment to lift our youth up to places we know that they belong,” he said, adding he remembers being the youngest person in his council chambers after being elected.

The festival also heard from some local acts, many of whom also work in the community at the school or coaching basketball — striving to be role models who can show young people on their nation a creative path to help them steer clear of anxieties and darker influences.

Siksika’s very own N.D.N. Family takes to the stage for their first show since the pandemic. They say they strive to inspire youth to express themselves and be proud of who they are. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

These youngsters were all smiles as they soaked in the festival on a beautiful summer’s day. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

The music festival was held near the Siksika Powwow Arbour. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Dancers take to the front of the stage as The Halluci Nation performs and the sun sets. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Local group Iron Tusk rocked the crowd as one of the opening bands. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Calgary’s Miesha and the Spanks also took to the stage. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Volunteers from Siksika Health Services were on hand, including at an immunization tent offering COVID-19 vaccinations. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Trouble in Mind also dusted off the pandemic cobwebs for a performance. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Chief Ouray Crowfoot, at right, welcomed a representative from the Calgary Hitmen up on stage to celebrate a memorandum of understanding intended to create more opportunities for the community’s youth that was signed earlier in the day. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

The Halluci Nation got the crowd up dancing, but safely in their COVID-19 pods. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

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