Pikwàkanagàn – Despite chilly temperatures and rain, the annual Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn Traditional Pow Wow drew a crowd to the Pikwàkanagàn First Nation on August 16.
This is the 27th year that the pow wow has been held, though it existed in one form or another for many years prior to that.
“We have it rain or shine,” remarked Jane Commanda, the co-ordinator of the pow wow.
Commanda worked closely with a dedicated group of volunteers and staff, the pow wow committee, to set up and organize the pow wow. Dancers came from as far away as the United States for the pow wow. The pow wow site was generously donated a number of years ago by a member of the First Nation, and is located at the bottom of a hill in Pikwàkanagàn.
Commanda’s involvement began nearly 17 years ago.
“I started as a vendor,” she explained. “The lady who had been organizing got sick and asked me to take over; I’ve been involved since.”
This year, the pow wow hosted 50 craft vendors and 11 food vendors.
“My food vendors always know where to go – the craft vendors, I’m still working on,” said Commanda with a laugh.
Planning for the next event begins almost as soon as they pack things up on the pow wow’s final day.
“All the vendors start calling in March,” said Commanda. “Right after this one’s over, we start on the next one.”
Due to an illness in June, Commanda had to rely on her committee to oversee a number of the final details.
Get your August 20, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read more of this story.