Jun 6, 2014
Can you think of a word with three W’s? How about a word that represents a gathering of people and means “spiritual leader”? In case you haven’t already guessed it, the word is powwow and this month the Peace Region is happy to be hosting two of them!
Originally a formal Native American ceremony, powwows have become an event that blends dance, family reunions and festivals for people of all cultures and backgrounds to enjoy. They represent both physical and spiritual renewal and serve as a way of coming together to dance, sing, meet, make friends and celebrate life.
Although well-known for their colourful and exciting dancers in traditional dress, you will also find an array of drummers, singers, traditional local handcrafted items as well as contests and competitions.
9th Annual Spirit of the Peace Powwow
If you are in or around Taylor, BC on June 6, 7 or 8th head to the Taylor District Ice Centre for the 9th Annual Spirit of the Peace Powwow. What makes this year’s powwow extra special is that unlike other years, it will be a competition powwow! There will be a dance competition featuring categories of all ages with approximately 100 dancers competing, as well as a drumming competition hosted by Saskatchewan’s Wild Horse. Over 4,000 people attended last year’s event. With the addition of competitions this year, the excitement and attendance is sure to be high.
19th Annual Aboriginal Gathering and 11th Annual Powwow
The second powwow to be hosted in the Peace Region is in Peace River, AB at the Agricultural Grounds on June 14 and 15. Admission is free to this event which includes dancers, hand drum groups, display tables, children’s activities, Aboriginal crafts and more. This powwow celebrates not only the Aboriginal community in the region but also creates unity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities, since it brings people together regardless of their heritage. Last year’s Powwow and Aboriginal gathering saw hundreds of people from across the region and Western Canada come to Peace River. It was clearly one of the region’s largest and most colourful events of the year.
Why should you take the time to see at least one of these powwows of the Peace? We think no one can say it better than President of the Spirit of the Peace Powwow Society herself, Connie Greyeyes – “It’s a really great way to come and spend the weekend. People who have never seen a powwow, I strongly encourage them to come down and… see what’s going on.”
For more information on the 9th Annual Spirit of the Peace Powwow and the 19th Annual Aboriginal Gathering and 11th Annual Powwow, check out the events calendar.