Powwow aims to bring Siksika Nation and Strathmore residents together in honour of slain Indigenous man
The Town of Strathmore and Siksika Nation hosted the first Lead By Example Powwow this weekend in honour of a young Indigenous man who was shot to death four years ago.
Family of Kristian Ayoungman describe him as a talented powwow dancer and hockey player whose life ended far too soon.
“Anything you put in front of him, he excelled in it,” his mother, Melodie Ayoungman-Hunt, said.
“He was just happy, hard-working and very smart. He was one of the First Nation’s finest gentleman.”
The 24-year-old was found dead in his vehicle on a rural highway south of Strathmore on March 17, 2019. An autopsy determined he died of a gunshot wound.
Over the weekend, hundreds gathered in Strathmore at the Lead By Example Powwow to celebrate Ayoungman’s life.
“This just goes to show the impact that he’s made on everyone. He’s touched someone in some way,” Ayoungman-Hunt said.
“Who knew (Kristian) was going to become something so great, leaving his legacy for all of us to learn from.”
Hundreds gathered in Strathmore at the Lead by Example Powwow to celebrate Kristian Ayoungman’s life (CTV News Calgary/Nicole Di Donato).Ayoungman-Hunt also wanted to hold a powwow to bring Strathmore locals and Siksika Nation residents together.
“Siksika is only 15 minutes from Strathmore and we’re here every day; we support all the businesses, why not get to know each other?”
Ayoungman lived on Siksika Nation but went to school and played hockey in Strathmore.
The town was quick to help make the powwow a reality, with council endorsing it unanimously.
“We are part of the reconciliation process across this country, and we want to do our part to make things better for our Siksika friends and neighbours when they come into Strathmore,” Mayor Pat Fule said.
“This is a great opportunity for our two communities to bond and it celebrates Siksika’s culture, culture from all different First Nations groups and it’s just a great celebration of life and what Kristian stood for.”
Hundreds gathered in Strathmore at the Lead by Example Powwow to celebrate Kristian Ayoungman’s life (CTV News Calgary/Nicole Di Donato).
Two Strathmore brothers, Brandon and Kody Giffen were convicted of manslaughter in Ayoungman’s death after initially being charged with first-degree murder.
Ayoungman’s family believes his death was the result of racism.
“The way my boy’s life was taken, it was wrong. The way the justice system gave that verdict, to me, it’s wrong,” Ayoungman-Hunt said.
Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot hopes introducing the community to their culture and addressing past racism will help them move forward.
“You can’t deny some of the racist things that have happened in this community and other communities around the area, so you can’t just sweep it under the rug,” he said.
“The more we work together, the more we understand each other, the more we realize that we’re more similar than different.”
Crowfoot adds that powwows help people heal.
“There’s healing powers in music. There’s healing powers in dancing … It’s a way of celebrating, not celebrating a man’s death, but celebrating the life and the lives to come,” he said.
Ayoungman-Hunt agrees and says she would like to see this powwow continue into the future.
“Times need to change. People need to change. Communities need to change,” she said.
“If more people understood the history, there’d be less ignorance, there’d be less hatred, there’d be less lack of understanding and we’d get to know each other better.”
Calgary Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Here's how major cities in Canada and the U.S. look blanketed by wildfire smoke
Photos show smoke-filled skies in cities across Canada and the U.S. as air quality warnings were issued in wake of the hundreds of wildfires from Quebec and Ontario.
WATCH | Rate hike 'may be the last straw' for some homeowners: mortgage broker
With the latest hike bringing Canada's key interest rates to levels not seen since 2001, one mortgage broker is warning that it may be 'the last straw' for some homeowners with variable mortgages.
Canadians more likely to support foreign interference inquiry than hearings: Nanos
Canadians are twice as likely to support a formal inquiry into foreign interference, as opposed to public hearings, according to new polling from Nanos Research for CTV News.
opinion | Eight takeaways from Prince Harry's seven hours on the witness stand
It's been a busy, tumultuous few days for Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex as he took his place on the witness stand in his trial against the Mirror Group Newspapers. Here are royal commentator Afua Hagan's top takeaways from his two-day grilling.
Calgary mass killer Matthew de Grood seeks 'absolute discharge'
The man who was found not criminally responsible in the stabbing deaths of five people at a house party in Brentwood more than nine years ago is seeking more freedoms.
Trudeau shows no interest in compromising with Meta, Google over online news bill
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is showing no interest in compromising with Meta and Google over a Liberal bill that would make them pay for Canadian journalism that helps the companies generate revenue.
Bank of Canada ends pause on hikes, raises policy rate by 25 basis points
The Bank of Canada raised its overnight rate by 25 basis points to 4.75 per cent on Wednesday, its first increase since pausing hikes in January.
Afghan women protest for human rights and against the Taliban through dance
In a courageous display of resistance, a group of Afghan women activists danced in Kabul as a form of protest in a country where women are banned from attending school, work and even going to parks.
Wrestling icon The Iron Sheik dead at 81
World Wrestling Entertainment legend The Iron Sheik has died. He was 81.
'Major travel delays': Anthony Henday Drive bridge will be closed this weekend
Drivers are being asked to find another way or prepare for delays on the Henday this weekend, because crews need to close a bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.
Hit-and-run leaves pedestrian seriously injured: Edmonton police
A pedestrian was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in northeast Edmonton Tuesday night.
Fire destroys 118-year-old Orthodox church in eastern Alberta
A Romanian Orthodox church east of Edmonton burned nearly to the ground on Tuesday.
'You don't listen to renters': Vancouver Tenants Union disrupts housing announcement
Rental housing advocates interrupted an announcement by B.C.'s housing minister in Vancouver Wednesday morning to object to the provincial government's response to the affordability crisis.
Air quality advisory in effect for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley
An air quality advisory is in effect for parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley as wildfire smoke and high temperatures create hazy, potentially hazardous conditions.
1st-of-its-kind health-care centre in Vancouver looks to support woman, trans and non-binary individuals
A first-of-its-kind health-care centre has opened in Vancouver, and the founders are inviting women, transgender and non-binary individuals to “come as you are.”
A 'whole list of hazards' are keeping residents near N.S. fire zones under evacuation: officials
It is still not safe for some evacuated residents whose houses were spared from wildfire damage to return home, officials from Halifax Regional Municipality and the District of Shelburne said.
Halifax support workers strike impacting students and families
The father of disabled teen from Fall River, N.S. is calling on all sides to get back to the bargaining table and put an end to the Halifax area CUPE educational support worker strike.
Shelburne volunteer fire chief says wildfire efforts have 'been a fight'
The chief of the Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department says the blaze near Barrington Lake, which is now classified as “held,” is unlike anything he’s ever seen.
Extended highway closure expected due to wildfire near Port Alberni
There's no end in sight for the closure of Highway 4 on Vancouver Island – the only highway leading to the communities of Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet – due to a wildfire burning in the area.
Busload of B.C. students stranded by wildfire spend the night inside Vancouver Island high school
A busload of high school students were finally heading home to Nanaimo on Wednesday after they were stranded by a raging wildfire that forced them to spend the night inside a Port Alberni high school.
Speed and alcohol likely factors in fatal Nanaimo crash
A 33-year-old man from Nanaimo is dead after a single-vehicle crash south of the city Tuesday.
Toronto air quality reaches 'high risk' level due to Ontario, Quebec wildfire smoke
The air quality in Toronto has become so polluted due to forest fires in Quebec and Ontario that strenuous outdoor activities could leave you coughing and with an itchy throat.
Indigo founder Heather Reisman retires, almost half of board steps down
Indigo founder Heather Reisman announced she is retiring as almost half of the book retailer's board of directors steps down.
Deaths of 2 people in apparent fall from residential building deemed murder-suicide: Toronto police
Toronto police say the deaths of two people in North York last month have been deemed a murder-suicide.
Ontario man charged with first-degree murder in killing of Claudia Iacono outside Montreal salon
An Ontario man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Claudia Iacono, the daughter-in-law of Mafia associate Moreno Gallo, after she was gunned down at the wheel of her car in Montreal last month.
More evacuations in Quebec as record-breaking fires continue to burn
Quebec's wildfire season is the worst on record, officials said Wednesday as the number of evacuees rose to more than 11,000.
BREAKING | Amber Alert lifted after child found 'safe and sound' in Quebec: police
Quebec provincial police have lifted an Amber Alert for a one-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted earlier Wednesday after reporting the toddler was found 'safe and sound' in the Saint-Hyacinthe area.
Special Air Quality Statement
Special Air Quality Statement | Wildfire smoke blankets Ottawa for a third day
Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Ottawa, with the air quality at 10+ "very high risk" Wednesday morning. Conditions improved in the afternoon.
Plug-in air purifier blamed for row house fire in Craig Henry area
The Ottawa Fire Service says a plug-in air purifier is to blame for a fire on Craig Henry Drive Tuesday.
Evacuation order extended 48 hours as Centennial Lake fire continues to burn
An evacuation order at Centennial Lake, 150 km west of Ottawa, has been extended for another 48 hours as crews continue to battle the wildfire.
Poor air quality in Waterloo region and Guelph will continue into the weekend: Environment Canada
There's high levels of air pollution in Waterloo region and Wellington County as smoke plumes from wildfires burning in Quebec and northeastern Ontario continue to blow into the region, Environment Canada says.
Six Region of Waterloo councillors announce support for amalgamation
One unified city – that’s what six Region of Waterloo councillors say they want when it comes to the future of the region’s municipal governance.
OPP turn to Six Nations residence in search for missing Ontario woman
The search for Amber Ellis, a Hagersville woman reported missing in March 2021, is returning to the community where she was last seen.
Saskatoon property taxes could see 13 per cent hike as city confronts $75M revenue gap
Significant property tax hikes may be needed to cover a funding shortfall, according to City of Saskatoon administration.
Saskatoon builder looking to flip abandoned homes to first time buyers
A Saskatoon man wants to play matchmaker for the unloved homes in the city.
Saskatoon bakery sees business rise after hiring newcomers from Ukraine
A willingness to hire newcomers to Canada has brought new business to Nestor’s Bakery.
Wildfire west of Sudbury prompts evacuation order, total active fires in northern Ont. grows to 54
A northern Ontario forest fire that started west of Sudbury on Sunday morning has grown to more than 1,000 hectares and has prompted officials to issue an evacuation order for the immediate area as the number of active fires in the region grows.
Spreading wildfires prompt northeastern communities to evacuate
Communities affected by wildfires in the region are evacuating for safety reasons. The province says there is significant danger as several out-of-control wildfires affect air quality and physical safety.
‘Incompetent’ northern Ont. doctor loses his license to practise medicine
A northern Ontario doctor has been stripped of his medical licence for conduct described as “disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.”
These Manitoba communities set new records during the heat wave
The recent heat warnings in Manitoba have resulted in new temperature records being set in several Manitoba communities.
Crash with stolen vehicle sends two Winnipeg officers to hospital
A section of Main Street is closed on Wednesday morning following a car crash in the area.
Governor General wants to help both sides in statue debate understand each other
People on both sides of the debate over the destruction of statues linked to colonization can come together and learn to respect each other, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon said Wednesday.
Future uncertain for residents of bulldozed Regina homeless camp
The dwellings of around a dozen Regina residents experiencing homelessness were bulldozed after calls from the property owner.
As temperatures soar, Regina parents keep kids home from schools with no air conditioning
With no air conditioning available at their kids' schools, some Regina parents are opting to keep their children home as temperatures rise.
Sask. premier has highest approval rating in Canada, according to poll
At 57 per cent, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has the highest approval rating in Canada, according to a poll from Angus Reid Institute released on Wednesday.