Christine Spence has been waiting all year in anticipation for the fourth annual women’s feast and spa day that took place on March 4 in the Mamidosewin Centre.
“It was a nice surprise last year,” said Spence, a second-year business management and entrepreneurship student. “I didn’t know about the event and I just happened to walk in to the centre on that day and it was great. I got my hair cut and everything and since then I’ve been asking Elena all year when it was going to happen again.”
Last year’s event gathered a lot of positive feedback from participants.
Hair styling students, esthetician students and massage therapy students donated their time to this event and provided their services to aboriginal women for free.
“This event really allows the aboriginal women of the college community to be pampered, which is something they might not always have access to,” said Elena Abel, the centre’s event coordinator.
She said she likes to organize this event around International Women’s Day because in aboriginal culture, women play pivotal roles in the community. Abel thought it would be a good time to bring awareness to all the missing aboriginal women through the Walking with our Sisters art exhibit of which she is a contributor.
Indigenous women take on strong leadership roles, she explains. They often hold on to cultural teachings and traditions and pass those on to their children. They are also involved in politics and keeping their community strong.
“Women are the life-givers, when we heal ourselves we heal others and we heal the world so it’s important to look after ourselves,” said Jackie Tenute, aboriginal counsellor at the college. “This spa day is to honour women’s roles and to remind us to take time for ourselves.”
Spence as well as other women who attended the event all had a memorable day.
“This is a great event, especially for those who came from the reserve because for them and even for us as students, it’s a nice luxury that we wouldn’t otherwise get to experience,” said Spence.