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Rampart Rendezvous this weekend
Biennial event to feature musicians, traditional dress competition

Kassina Ryder
Northern News Services
Monday, August 3, 2015

The biennial Rampart Rendezvous is scheduled to take place this weekend in Fort Good Hope, says the event's head organizer.

NNSL photo/graphic

Jacky Cen makes his best attempt at a greased pole-climbing contest at Fort Good Hope during the 2007 Ramparts Rendezvous celebrations. - photo courtesy Jacky Cen

The event had been cancelled for a few years until Brenda Tseleie Pierrot helped resurrect it in 2013.

"I think it was important for us to keep it going because every year we had a gathering in our community, people come together to enjoy fun traditional activities," said Tseleie Pierrot.

"I just thought it was something that everybody looks forward to."

The gathering attracts friends and family from throughout the Sahtu region for traditional games and food but Tseleie Pierrot said music will be a new feature this year.

"This year we have something a little bit different," she said.

"We have some entertainers coming in, which wasn't involved in the previous Rampart Rendezvous."

John Landry and Son and Dean Powder were scheduled to provide music.

A talent show is another new event, Tseleie Pierrot added.

An expected highlight will be the traditional dress competition, which will allow both men and women of all ages to display their best work.

"This year we're having the traditional dress competition to promote our aboriginal arts and crafts and the talent that we have," she said. "We have a lot of sewers that come from here."

Traditional events will include tent setting, duck plucking and singeing, beaver fleshing, dry fish making, bannock making, tea making, and jigging contests.

There will also be canoe races for both men and women, Tseleie Pierrot said.

Prizes range from $60 to $1,200, depending on the event and whether participants place first, second or third.

Tseleie Pierrot said she believes keeping events such as Rampart Rendezvous alive is key to preserving culture.

"I think to continue to keep our culture going, we have to continue to support these kind of traditional activities that we have in our communities," she said.

Gathering together to perform and watch traditional events is especially important for younger generations, she said.

"It's not just for the adults, but also for the youth and the younger children," she said.

"These things are important to Dene people."

This year's Ramparts Rendezvous is scheduled to take place Aug. 7 to Aug. 9. People looking for more information or for a place to stay are encouraged to contact Tseleie Pierrot on the Ramparts Rendezvous Facebook page.

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