Smoking ceremony and welcome to country beside Wollundry Lagoon


Canadian First Nations delegation visits Wagga Wagga

Published: 24 Feb 2023 11:56am

Wagga Wagga City Council welcomed a delegation of First Nations representatives from Canada to our city this week.

A Mayoral event was held to mark the visit on Tuesday 21 February in Council’s E3 art space, providing the delegation with the opportunity to meet local Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri and First Nation Elders and community members.

Council’s Aboriginal Community Development Officer Bernard Higgins said the event encouraged knowledge sharing relating to Canadian First Nations treaties and governance, with the event's timing connecting well with Australia’s Uluru Statement from the Heart – Voice to Parliament process.

Mayor and Aunty Isabel with Wiradyuri and Canadian First Nations people sitting in room
TOGETHER: Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Cr Dallas Tout and Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri Elder Aunty Isabel Reid at the Mayoral event to welcome the Canadian First Nations delegation.

“The event provided a wonderful opportunity to come together to listen and exchange cultural knowledge and reflections with the Canadian First Nations delegation as we continue on our own journey towards reconciliation,” Mr Higgins said.

Uncle Hewitt Wyman led the event proceedings, which commenced with a smoking ceremony and didgeridoo performance by Luke Wighton and a Welcome to Country presented by Wiradjuri/Wiradyuri Elder Aunty Isabel Reid.

A dynamic performance then took place by the Waganha biladha dancers, set against the backdrop of the Wollundry Lagoon

Wiradjuri and First Nations dancers on lawns beside library

Aunty Isabel Reid said it was incredibly important to host the event in Wagga Wagga.

“Coming together to listen and learn together makes us stronger and helps us all to grow and heal as a community,” Aunty Isabel said.

Uncle Hewitt Whyman said welcoming the Canadian First Nations delegation to Wagga Wagga was a wonderful experience for everyone involved.

“The opportunity to listen and exchange lived experiences with the delegation has been an enriching learning and healing opportunity for our Elders and community,” Uncle Hewitt said.