Intense heat tests Pow Wow dancers

PIKWÀKANAGÀN  – 229 dancers participated in the Pow Wow held over the weekend, a testament to the pride of the community and First Nation visitors.

The Grand Entry was delayed on Saturday due to the number of visitors still trying to make it into the grounds.

The ceremonies and dancing were co-MC’d by Fred McGregor from Quebec and Gilbert Chee Choo from Moose Factory. They both have many years experience leading Pow Wows.

There were 11 drumming groups under the arbour at the centre of the ceremonial grounds. Chee Choo said that there was a good blend of contemporary and traditional drums at the Pow Wow. He said that an experienced drum group would know 25 to 30 songs.

When the Grand Entry began the audience stood, took off their hats and put their cameras aside for the beginning of ceremonies. People stood silently in the dappled sunlight around the ceremonial grounds during the Grand Entry of the elders, flag bearers and dancers, who wore full regalia in the intense heat.

The Flag Song was sung while the flags and banners were placed in position around the arbour.

Then came the Veterans song, for those First Nations and non-First Nations who have served.

Elders were given the opportunity to bring greetings and offer blessings.

Pikwàkanagàn Chief, Kirby Whiteduck, gave some words. He thanked the Pow Wow committee for their work, and for bringing forward the theme of the Pow Wow; healing the spirit.

“We can look at different levels. We have individual spirit, we have community spirit, nations or First Nations spirit. We are aware that many First Nations’ spirit has been deeply impacted over time by different things that have happened.”

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