Culture and Grassroots Come Together to Share
Thunder Bay – INDIGENOUS – The Thundering of the Big Drums, and empowering songs by our women hand-drummers, the jingle dresses of women and bells of our ogitchitah traditional dancers and grass dancers, along with the laughter of all our children and community and educaring of our protocols made it possible to remember how it was, and how it still is. The stories of our Earth, our Ancestors is still talked about with the same knowledge by our elders. They will give to us that same knowledge if we are willing to seek it because the intent of the direction life has taken to give us a free will they had in history as it is today because we are all Children of the Earth and family is everything.
During some point where there were no available chairs, some spectators had to stand. Our Sound System was loaned by Benjamin Lazarius Murray, PlanBstrik9,Ghetto Children Studios that made a huge contribution to this years New Years Pow Wow. Sheena Campbell loaned her hoops for the kiddie corner. Stand Up for Clean Up Joshua Hewitt and his partner Mandy contributed their time to help. Our feast was successfully made with donations by Kateri Church of $150.00 towards food, Audrey Fisher, joined in to serve food, along with her welcoming contagious smile. a job well done by everyone who contributed to the potluck feast that we might have missed. The fried fish and bannock by Mrs. Magiskan and all the delicious food was well put together. The donation from Lori Paras-The Hub of $50.00 toward gas, to pick cedar and bring the offerings out and collecting items, driving some people home is appreciated, including the generosity of Eat Local who donated 6 pizzas and Renco’s donation of a Canada sweater that was given to our Arena Director John Slipperjack who joined in with full regalia.
With two Eagle Staffs to Lead our two Grand Entry with Leadership Royalty from Gull Bay FN, Neskantaga FN, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, Mackenzie Courchene and all the beautiful regalias of young and old, our volunteer MC -Nathan Moses retrieved their drum to sing sacred healing songs, entertained us with a back to back five hoop dance demonstration and got Kyle McKay to hoop dancing six hoops. Playing musical chairs for the adults and a game for the children brought sore cheeks from laughter, the tradition of serving elders, children, drummers, dancers before feeding everybody was eye pleasing to see.
This year’s 2018-19 New Year’s Eve Pow Wow came together in two days, after the initial planning gathering at Brodie Resource Library, where the Grassroots Initiative was formed. Meeting with potential places, talking to managers, sadly had no success. Lynx Clan Watch reached out to the Aboriginal Liaison Ann Magiskan and with her assistance, we confirmed the Heritage Building at the CLE Grounds and what a beautiful heritage we have our positive direction began.
Grassroots Initiative was developed when a young Indigenous grass dancer’s desire to get a Pow wow happening he cared enough to ask for help. The final planning meeting at Robins’ Donuts gave the opportunity for volunteers to attend. With few members, Munzeroy Neekan’s passion, this young man donated, out of his own pocket, a $100.00 worth of gifts for the Giveaway many and received a $20 donation by another grass dancer. We should all be inspired by his kindness and generosity.
We had the honour of speaking with Elder Mae Jamison-BigGeorge, a 77-year-old from Big Grassy saying they drove six hours to be at this years Anemkii Wequedong pow wow with her two daughters. There were many elders that had attended. Elder Wanda Baxter spoke the blessing for the giveaway as Peter Kwandibens spoke encouraging words on the prayers after grand entry at 1:00 and 7:00 pm. We danced until the late hour of 11:30 pm so people could catch the transit.
The three drums: Little Bear, North Thunder, and Spirit Wind and the many dancers and participants along with the volunteers who supported this year’s Grassroots Initiative Pow Wow as we danced for our Higher Power, the Earth, the Sky and Water in prayer remembrance of MMIWG, 60’s scoop, OIPRD and Senator Murray Sinclair’s Recommendations of Systemic Racism, who will continue to monitor throughout the year to ensure the recommendations are implemented. In partnership with the City of Thunder Bay, we began our year with the empowerment of a new beginning towards healing.
Grassroots Initiative apologize for not having no honorariums this pow wow on short notice.
If you carry the passion of a grassroots spirit and would like to volunteer your time to plan activities during the year, you can contact Lynx Clan Watch on Facebook by leaving a message or Ann Magiskan, Aboriginal Liaison Unit at Thunder Bay City Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hold the seven sacred teachings of Love Truth Respect Humility Honesty Bravery and Wisdom in your heart mind and spirit and praying for a Happy New Year to everybody from the staff of Netnewsledger. Meegwech, Wichay, Thank you!
If you missed the New Year’s Eve Pow Wow you can view it here: