FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION – “These mountains are our sacred places”. That message was shared by Chief John Snow from Morley Alberta. A Pow Wow is a celebration of life, a time for healing, and a time to dance and to sing.
Fort William First Nation’s annual Pow Wow atop sacred Animikii-wajiw in the Ojibwe language, locally written as Anemki-waucheu. Currently in Thunder Bay Thunder Mountain is called Mount Mckay. The mountain is the eastern hub of the Nor’Wester Mountains.
The Pow Wow continues today, July 1, Canada Day. At 11:00PM EDT there is a spectacular fireworks display being held.
On Sunday, the Pow Wow continued under the spiritual guidance of Calvin Ottertail, Jim Peters Chicago, and Freda McDonald.
At a Pow Wow there is a fairly standard program. The official start of each day begins with a sunrise ceremony, and prayers are offered.
The Pow Wow as seen by most begins with the Grand Entry, then the Flag Song, followed by the Veteran’s Song. The Eagle Staff is honoured. At many Pow Wows, photographs of the Grand Entry is not allowed. The Elders grant special permission for the video. It remains an issue of concern, and NetNewsLedger was honoured to be entrusted with treating the Grand Entry with the respect.
There are many parts to a Pow Wow. Each style of dance has a special meaning and history. The Grass Dancer, for example. this dance is a way to flatten down the tall grass where the Pow Wow would be held. Learn more: read Pow Wow 101