In the sight of nearby eagles, the traditional Ninth Annual Mattagami First Nation Pow Wow took place on September 14 and 15, 2019. This year’s theme was “Noojimo’iwewin giinitamawind abi” which translates from Ojibway as “Healing Our Home”.
The host drum was the Young Eagle Singers and Co-Host was the High Ridge singers both of Moose Cree FN. Invite Drum was Northern Spirit Singers, Brunswick House FN. The Lead Female Dancer was Dawn McKenzie, Mattagami FN and Lead Male Dancer was Tyrone Shawana, Wikwemikong FN. The Lead Female Youth Dancer was Ava Naveau, Mattagami FN and Lead Male Youth was Beesym Couchie, Nippissing FN. Featured Grandmother for the Pow Wow was Agnes Naveau, Mattagami FN and Arena Director was Gerald Chum, Moose Cree FN. Kirby Mianskum, Moose Cree FN kept the event rolling as Master of Ceremonies and Head Veteran for the Pow Wow was Elder Leonard Naveau Sr., Mattagami FN.
Dignitaries on hand included Chief Chad Boissoneau, Deputy Grand Chief Walter Naveau, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN); Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Chiefs of Ontario (COO) and New Democratic Party (NDP) Candidate Stephane Paquette.
“I am happy to welcome everyone here today and I want to give thanks to Dayna our Pow Wow coordinator and all of her team and volunteers for making this event so great,” commented Chief Boissoneau.
Deputy Grand Chief Naveau, who made a point to be in his home community for the Pow Wow, had to travel to another event the same day but he made sure to welcome all of those in attendance before departing.
“I am so grateful that we have our Pow Wow and traditional and cultural ways coming back to us here in Mattagami First Nation. I applaud everyone for all of their hard work to make this possible and I thank all of you who are visiting our community today,” said Deputy Grand Chief Naveau.
Ontario Regional Chief Archibald, who hails from the north remarked on how wonderful she was welcomed into the community and how happy she was to be invited.
“These are special days for me when I get to come and visit our First Nations and see all of the good things being done with our traditions and culture. I see the joy on the faces of the people here and in the eyes of the children and it makes me feel good,” commented Ontario Regional Chief Archibald.
The event coordinator Dayna Doll McKenzie, who is also a dancer, has been organizing the Pow Wow for seven years.
“This is the best one yet and they keep getting better every year. We will be hosting the tenth annual Pow Wow next year and that will be a major event and milestone. I want to give my thanks to my partner Calvin for his support and my mom Dawn for introducing me to the traditions, culture, and Pow Wow when I was a child. Thanks so much to Chief and Council, our Executive Director Juanita Luke, Jennifer Constant, Dorothy Naveau and all of our team and volunteers , in particular,our members who organized and supplied our feast and our local youth for keeping this Pow Wow alive,” commented McKenzie.
Prayer and guidance was led by Mattagami FN Elders Agnes Naveau, Leonard Naveau and Pastor Carol Gagnon.
Theland Kicknosway a glow hoop dancer thrilled and entertained everyone with dance and stories.
Participants and the public enjoyed the opportunity to visit the vendors displays to view traditional crafts and also savour the tastes of traditional foods from hunters, fishing harvesters and cooks. The main sponsors for the Pow Wow included: Canadian Heritage Fund, Mattagami FN Trust with lead sponsors including Gold Corp and Kidd Creek GlenCore.