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Over 100 guests attend Brantford eclipse event

Local NewsOver 100 guests attend Brantford eclipse event

Around 120 people gathered at the Woodland Cultural Centre for the Brantford Region Indigenous Support Centre’s (BRISC) total solar eclipse event on Monday, April 8, 2024.

A part from the viewing, both local and out of town visitors alike had the opportunity to explore the centre and all it had to offer including; a self-guided tour around the galleries and museum, a lunch spread from Our Kitchen Brantford, and an Indigenous Astronomy presentation with Samantha Doxtator of the Oneida Wolf Clan.

Doxtator, who recently accepted the gift of continuing the work and research built by her late sister, Sasha, explained that the stars, the sun, moon and celestial bodies are a rich and foundational source for the origins of modern astronomy and science.

Visitors listen in as Samantha Doxtator spoke about the importance of the solar eclipse during the Brantford Region Indigenous Support Centre’s (BRISC) total solar eclipse event on Monday, April 8, 2024.

Throughout the presentation, guests learned about the Haudenosaunee perspective on astronomical connections to creation stories, perseverance, innovation and life cycles on Earth.

Doxtator said that the once in a lifetime total solar eclipse would bring big things to help re-establish the balance across the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, including a good mind, understanding for each other and peace.

“They say that the Great Law of Peace was formed because of the help of a total solar eclipse and when it came over a thousand years ago, the Peacemaker brought that balance to all our nations and our confederacy and said that we would live with a good mind, peace and have that understanding for each other.”

Sabrina, Ed and Rhys Wong look skyward during the Brantford Region Indigenous Support Centre’s (BRISC) total solar eclipse event on Monday, April 8, 2024.

Kitchener residents, Barb Kraler and Carol Gregory, said that the event as a whole, and particularly the presentation was very special to them.

“I’m feeling very special and very privileged to be here,” said Kraler. “We feel very blessed that we found this event and the presentation really brought a whole other dimension to what we would have experienced if we hadn’t made the drive to Brantford.”

Visitors set up chairs to watch the total solar eclipse during the Brantford Region Indigenous Support Centre’s (BRISC) event on Monday, April 8, 2024.

As the presentation came to a close and the height of the solar eclipse began, children and adults alike began excitedly heading outside to view the spectacle.

Families and individuals set up blankets and chairs around the grounds as they settled in to watch as the moon started moving in front of the sun.  

Many guests set up blankets and chairs just outside of the Woodland Cultural Centre during the Brantford Region Indigenous Support Centre’s (BRISC) event on Monday, April 8, 2024.

Guelph resident, Janet Morton, who attended the event with her daughter and friends, brought along a metal strainer which when held over the grass, produced crescent shaped shadows and the view garnered many onlookers who were awe-struck.

“We thought this was just a great place to be, because not only did we kind of get to be in nature, but we’re also with other people,” said Morton. “We did get here a little bit later, but we got to see the presentation and that was just so amazing and interesting.”

One resident sports a large smile as he inspects the total solar eclipse during the Brantford Region Indigenous Support Centre’s (BRISC) event on Monday, April 8, 2024.

As the totality quickly approached and when the darkness finally came, children jumped and cheered at the long-awaited sight.

Afterwards, siblings, Rhys and Mackenzie Moser, were excited to show off some of their pictures of totality and said they were “really glad” they got to see the eclipse.

“I didn’t know it was going to get that dark!” said Rhys.

“My favourite part was totality and seeing how fast the moon covered the sun!” added Mackenzie.

Residents smile ear to ear as totality began during the Brantford Region Indigenous Support Centre’s (BRISC) total solar eclipse event on Monday, April 8, 2024.

Later, Morton added that the moment of totality really created an overwhelming sense of awe.

“It was just special and interesting because we were all chatting but then, all of a sudden it was just this sense of silence, space and awe. It almost felt ominous and eerie, but then there was just a sense of peace. It was super cool.”

Guests smile in awe at the totality during the Brantford Region Indigenous Support Centre’s (BRISC) total solar eclipse event on Monday, April 8, 2024.

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