PIKWAKANAGAN – The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan welcomed thousands to its community on the weekend of August 17 and 18 for the 32nd annual traditional Pow Wow.
On Sunday afternoon, the Grand Entry ceremony began. Almost 300 dancers entered the circle, from the entrance positioned in the east, where they danced clockwise around the arbour where drummers and singers were situated.
Intertribal songs were played, where both First Nations and non-First Nations peoples were invited to dance.
Pikwakanagan Chief Kirby Whiteduck welcomed everyone and touched on this year’s theme: Embracing and Honouring our Traditions.
“I think when they say to honour them and to embrace them; they don’t just mean the Algonquins or First Nations People. I think they mean everyone that’s in attendance here to try to understand them and the importance of them,” Whiteduck said.
He went back to the days of Samuel de Champlain, the first non-First Nation person who experienced the clean, clear waters of the Ottawa River and marveled at the animals in the region.
“That was their livelihood of the Algonquins; living in harmony with the environment and animals,” Whiteduck explained. “Taking care of the environment, having respect for the animals, and for the water and to recognize that mother earth is an actual living being. It’s a thing that needs to be maintained.”
However, Whiteduck said Champlain’s arrival brought upon a different lifestyle, one very different from the peoples who were occupying the land.
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