The beginning of the year at Preshil was marked by a historic moment, as Preshil inaugurated its first-ever Whole School Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony. This momentous occasion provided the school community with an opportunity to immerse themselves in Indigenous culture and traditions.
Uncle Perry, an Indigenous elder, visited the Preshil community on the first day of the 2023 school year and performed a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony that left a lasting impression on all who attended. The event was an opportunity for the community to come together and learn about Indigenous culture and tradition, and Uncle Perry’s warmth and authenticity made the experience truly special.
The Welcome to Country is a traditional Indigenous practice that signifies the beginning of an event or gathering on Indigenous land. The Smoking Ceremony is a cleansing ritual that helps to purify the land and those present. Uncle Perry’s performance was not only meaningful, but it was also educational. He shared his knowledge of the cultural significance of each aspect of the ceremony, making it a truly immersive experience for all who attended.
Uncle Perry brought a sense of calm and peace with him, and his smile and gentle manner were contagious. He openly shared his experiences and knowledge with our students, staff, parents and all of those who were eager to learn about Indigenous culture. His deep connection to the land and his culture was evident in every word he spoke, and the community is grateful for the opportunity to learn from him.
The community was deeply moved by Uncle Perry’s words and his sincere connection to the land and his people. He reminds us of the importance of preserving Indigenous culture and tradition, and it left many of us with a sense of reverence and respect for the land and its original inhabitants.
Uncle Perry’s Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony was a valuable experience for the Preshil community, and we are grateful to all that could attend.