York’s Centre for Aboriginal Student Services (CASS) held its annual Welcome Feast for new and returning students last week.
Some 50 students, staff, faculty and local agencies from Toronto’s Aboriginal community joined in the festivities in the normally quiet CASS office at 246 York Lanes.
The CASS Welcome Feast
The feast consisted of traditional foods, including three sisters soup (corn, squash and beans), bannock, sliced fruits and vegetables, strawberry juice and more.
There was also a greeting by one of the on campus elders, Laureen Waters, who smudged the room, food and participants. Waters said a prayer for the food to give thanks for the offerings and acknowledged the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of New Credit, the Métis Nation of Ontario, the Haudenosaune Confederacy and the Huron Wendat. Introductions of staff and new programs being offered at CASS followed the welcome.
Several students took part in “casso”, a non-traditional game of bingo, to win prizes. There were also workshop sign-up sheets for students and four local agency tables offering information.