A first-of-its-kind wedding took place last week in Southport. It was held at the Four Winds Cultural Centre. Buffalo Stone Man, also known as Darryl Taylor, created the Centre three years ago and named it after his mother who was a residential school survivor.
"My vision was to incorporate all nations, give that different perspective to the Indigenous, and show the non-Indigenous the true Indigenous and the local history, the ceremonies, the beauty of who we are, and not what they see in the city."
He explains many of the newcomers who came to the region have formed their perception by what they saw in Winnipeg. Taylor says this directed his vision to educate and show them that their culture is beautiful and they're beautiful people who love to share and care.
"It's about Mother Earth and it's about our sacred water," notes Taylor. "This land is not preserved by our ancestors. It's borrowed from our children. So, we need to understand that, and collectively, we all have common goals and grounds. I'm Dakota. Anyone that's born in North America, they are native American. And I want people to try and to understand that."
Taylor says this understanding will allow people to work together collectively and in unity.
"Ultimately, we need to protect our water and our earth. And this is part of that," continues Taylor. "Today we're going to have our first official wedding. It's going to be a mixture of Irish and Indigenous. It's going to be really exciting and I'm just looking forward to it. I'm just ecstatic."
He says they're having the groom and bride come out of separate teepees.
"They're going to make a tobacco offering to the sacred fire," explains Taylor. "Then we're going to do the Irish wrist tie. Then they'll go to stand on the altar, and I'm going to bless them in the four directions. I'll legally marry them with the province."
Taylor notes he's also a commissioner of oaths.
"I'm going to do the traditional pipe ceremony to make sure that this wedding is complete and all the aspects and protocols are done properly," adds Taylor. "Four Winds is available to the community, and anybody who's interested in coming, just contact Southport"
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