June 21 is National Aboriginal Day across Canada and many in Regina are marking the day with various activities in Wascana Park.
One of those activities is a buffalo hide tanning workshop being put on by Lorne Kequahtooway of Buffalo People Art Institute.
Keyquahtooway has been tanning buffalo hides for two years, but this was after a two year search to find someone willing to teach him the craft.
“Once I learned how I realized the reluctance in someone willing to teach it, cause it’s really hard work … but very much rewarding in the end.”
Keyquahooway said the workshops are a good way to teach people about the importance of the buffalo to First Nations people.
“The buffalo was our sustenance, First Nations sustenance. It provided food, shelter, clothing, weapons, tools… (the buffalo) provided all that for us.”
Keyquahtooway said that it is especially important today to pass down these traditional practices.
“The older generation … they’re passing away, so there’s some of that knowledge being lost and my goal is to maintain or try (to) share as much as possible.”
Keyquahtooway said that tanning a buffalo hide can be much more than cultural experience it can also be a spiritual one.
“It’s like a meditation and you start to think about whatever it is that’s bugging you … and at the end you come to a resolve.”