Educational Pow Wow honours Aboriginal diversity
Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre (FDASC) will celebrate the diversity of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples at its fifth annual Educational Pow Wow on October 1.
“Aboriginal is not a single entity; rather, it represents a diverse group of nations and peoples with different dances, dress and languages. This year’s theme is also fitting given the diversity of the Aboriginal community that studies and works at Queen’s,” says Michela Ferguson, who is coordinating the pow wow along with Dana Wesley.
The four elders invited to provide spiritual guidance at the pow wow represent the four general groups of Aboriginal students on campus: Anishinabe (First Nations), Haudenosaunee (First Nations), Inuit and Métis.
The drummers and performers also come from diverse backgrounds. They include among others:
• Anishinabe drum groups the High Rock Singers (host drum) and Red Spirit Singers
• Haudenosaunee group the Akwesasne Water Drum
• Inuit performers Sunsdrum
The pow wow allows Queen’s faculty, staff and students as well as members from the surrounding communities to learn more about the rich heritage and culture of Aboriginal peoples.
“Education has always been a big part of the pow wow at Queen’s. The master of ceremonies announces the activities throughout the day and gives teachings on what is expected of participants so that people who have never been to a pow wow will know the proper etiquette. Information booths are accessible and welcoming for attendees who may have questions,” says Ms Wesley. “Volunteering is also a great hands-on way to learn about pow wows, a common way to be taught protocol in the Aboriginal community.”
The day begins with a Sunrise Ceremony at 6 am at the Sacred Fire. Grand Entry on Benidickson Field at noon is when the official pow wow activities will begin, with closing ceremonies at 5 pm.
Admission is free and attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the Alma Mater Society Food Centre.