Conestoga news

March 13, 2024 1:46 PM

Indigenous Services invites community to Conestoga’s 14th annual Pow Wow

Drumming, singing and dancing will enliven Conestoga’s Student Recreation Centre at the Kitchener - Doon campus during the college’s 14th annual Traditional Pow Wow, scheduled for this Saturday, March 16.

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Indigenous Services invites all community members to Conestoga's annual traditional Pow Wow.

Hosted by Indigenous Services, doors will open at 10 a.m. followed by the grand entry at noon and the closing ceremonies at 5 p.m. 

Along with the traditional music and dancing, the family friendly event includes crafts/artisans, guest speakers and sacred fire. 

Everyone is welcome to enjoy the event that draws First Nations, Metis and Inuit participants from far and wide to reconnect and celebrate, said Christina Restoule, manager of Indigenous Student Services.  

“The Annual Traditional Pow Wow is an Indigenous cultural gathering to celebrate life to honour cultural knowledge, community and connection. All nations and relations are welcome.” 

The event features singer Tia Wood, who is Plains Cree/Coast Salish from Saddle Lake Cree Nation in central Alberta and now living in Los Angeles. 

Wood is a jingle dress dancer and social media influencer, sharing content that is both educational and entertaining on TikTok with her audience of almost three million. She has toured the pow wow trail extensively with her family - some are members of Grammy-Award-winning group Northern Cree - and her sister is Juno-Award winning Fawn Wood. 

Last year’s event was the largest yet - attracting 5,000 visitors - and they’re hoping this year’s will set a new record. 

The Pow Wow is an important time for Indigenous people to gather and share in a traditional ceremony that’s a vital part of their cultural expression. It’s hoped the event will inspire and promote an inclusive Canada that honours the land’s original inhabitants. 

“Indigenous representation is an integral part of reconciliation work and empowers Indigenous learners to feel safe, supported and celebrated through their educational journey,” Restoule said. 

Admission is $5. Students with valid identification and children under five will be admitted free of charge. Free parking is available onsite. 

Conestoga’s Be-Dah-Bin Gamik, a Place of New Beginning, provides services and ongoing support for Indigenous students to assist with a smooth transition to college life. Services include various social and cultural events and activities, traditional counselling and Elders-in-Residence programs. 

Visit Conestoga’s website to learn more about Indigenous initiatives at the college or contact Danielle Boissoneau, director, Indigenous Initiatives and Services.