Powwow season kicks off with National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada marks the start of powwow season in Northern Ontario.

Several communities in the Northeast will hold their annual events in the coming weeks.

This Friday, there will be a mini powwow at Bell Park in Sudbury, featuring dancers, with a grand entrance at 1 p.m.

Celebrations also begin later in the day in Batchewana First Nation.

It’s a reunion for First Nations, says Bob Chiblow, former chief of the Mississauga First Nation and co-owner of Chiblow Fish, a food vending business that participates in many powwows.

People are coming back from the cities, from Toronto, from Sudbury, wherever they are, and reconnecting with their familieshe said.

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Bob Chiblow provides food at Ontario powwows with his business Chiblow Fish.

Photo: Courtesy Bob Chiblow

Mr. Chiblow says the return of community members is also an opportunity to vote on certain issues.

They usually have a booth at the powwow because that’s when everyone goes homehe specifies.

Mr. Chiblow has been attending powwows in Northeastern Ontario for over two decades.

We always see the same people. No matter what powwow you attend, we always see familyhe mentions.

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Independent MP Michael Mantha (middle right) and MP Carol Hughes (middle left) pose for a photo at Sagamok during last year’s powwow.

Photo: Courtesy Michael Mantha

He says it’s also a good opportunity to try Anishnabe food, including tacos, soups, bannock and fish.

People go to the powwow to enjoy the food, abandon their diet for the weekend because in reality there are a lot of fried thingshe said, laughing.

We are proud to show our culture and ceremonies at these types of gatherings. We always invite people from surrounding non-Indigenous communitiesadds Mr. Chiblow.

Many of the food vendors’ customers are not indigenous.

Some other powwows in the Northeast

Over the weekend, Dokis First Nation will host its 22nd annual powwow.

The small community of Sheshegwaning on Manitoulin Island will also hold its powwow over the weekend.

That of Sagamok Anishnawbek will be presented between July 12 and 14.

Two weeks later, the neighboring Mississauga First Nation will hold its annual traditional powwow.

The annual Wiikwemkoong cultural event will begin on August 2 and last four days.

On the program, a music festival with headliners Snotty Noze Rez Kids and Crystal Shawanda. Also planned are a championship of drummers and dancers as well as an exhibition of indigenous art.

Serpent River First Nation will hold its celebrations on August 10 and Shawanaga First Nation will hold its celebrations on August 17, along with Garden River Ketegaunseebee, near Sault Ste. Marie.

Finally, the Nipissing First Nation will hold its powwow at the end of summer, from August 31 to September 1.

With information from CBC

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