by Jon Marcus
Originally published: November 23, 2016
The students in the crowded hall fall silent as Darlene Speidel, an elder and “knowledge keeper” of native traditions, says a prayer in the Lakota language over soup and bannock, a kind of flat bread.
“It always makes me feel so good to see all of you students and the efforts you’re putting in to advancing yourselves,” Speidel adds, in English, speaking in the new Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre at the University of Saskatchewan.
The price of this free lunch, under a ceiling designed to look like a medicine wheel, is to listen to a presentation about campus mental-health services.
When it’s over, there’s a dash for the buffet.