FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION – The Honouring the Women Pow Wow at Fort William First Nation has brought the new Pow Wow grounds into full play. Last week, the National Aboriginal Day was a bit of a test run for the new facility.
Starting with the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Saturday, through the first day of the Pow Wow, the event has been a major successful effort.
The City of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation hosted an announcement on Saturday. There will be a drum group heading to China to participate in a Sister City initiative. This is a first, and the eleven participants will be representing the region in China.
There are plans to hold a mini Pow Wow on the Great Wall of China.
The Pow Wow is a spiritual, cultural, and social event. It unites the community, and brings together people from across the city.
The work to put together the Pow Wow is a major undertaking. The Cultural Committee does much of the behind the scenes work. During the Pow Wow, many of the youth in the community are volunteering their efforts as well. From the lighting of the sacred fire, to welcoming in new dancers, there is a lot of things happening to bring together a successful Pow Wow.
Once the Pow Wow starts, all the hard work of the community and the Pow Wow committee shifts over to the Elder. This year Kalvin Ottertail is once again the spiritual leader of the Pow Wow.
The work of the team, of Elder, Master of Ceremonies, and Arena Director working together brings the Pow Wow together as an entertaining, fun and often educational experience.
The Pow Wow starts with the Grand Entry. At most Pow Wows filming of the Grand Entry is not permitted. As well, livestreaming of specials, and healing songs are not allowed. For people attending their first Pow Wow, the key is that the announcer will keep you aware of what you need to know.
The Pow Wow is held on the steppe of the mountain, and has an amazing view out over the city, and over Lake Superior. There are many vendors, food booths, and other events that happen, all along with camping, dancing, and drumming.
The Pow Wow brings people from across the city, and region to Fort William First Nation.
The Pow Wow also includes a community feast, at the FWFN Pow Wow, there was a feast with traditional foods, and more modern fare.
A weekend many will remember.