For many First Nations people across North America, the Pow Wow has become an expression of First Nation identity for all to enjoy. A pow wow is traditionally known as a gathering or celebration of life that takes place within Native American tribes all across turtle island.
A pow wow is often set up in a large circle, centre being the dance arena. At some pow wow’s, a larger circle (outside of the dancing area) consists of the MC's table, drum groups, and sitting areas for dancers and their families. At the Curve Lake Pow Wow, the drum groups sit in the centre of the dancing area, displaying that there is no one right way of celebrating the native culture. Any pow wow has a large area for spectators, with designated areas with vendor's booths, where one can buy food (including frybread and Indian tacos), music, jewellery, souvenirs, arts and crafts, beadwork, leather, and supplies for marking regalia.
Like any cultural practise, pow wow’s have generally known etiquette such as rules for when photography is or is not acceptable (during Grand Entry or honor songs for example). The clothing worn by dancers in the pow wow is known as regalia, which is very sacred to a dancer and is not to be touched or photographed without permission. Specifics regarding powwow etiquette vary from one geographic region to another, and usually the MC will advise spectators of what to expect in that particular territory.
Specific ceremonial songs occur during the opening and closing of a powwow session, but in between the most common dance is the intertribal, where a drum will sing a song and anyone who wants to can come and dance. Similar dances are the round dance, crow hop, double beat, two-step and sneak-up. Other dances exist for specific dancing styles – which include: mens and womens traditional, mens and womens fancy, womens jingle, mens grass, and prairie chicken.
For the anishnaabe people in Curve Lake, it is also a statement of our ability to survive as people and a community. The Curve Lake Pow Wow has been an ongoing tradition for many of years. We invite you and your family to come and join us as we celebrate and enjoy our language and culture at our annual fall Pow Wow. This event includes tradition foods, homemade crafts and Native American apparel. We at Rosey’s Trading Post encourage you to come to the Curve Lake Pow Wow as it is not an experience to be missed.