full4Hub Staff

Hundreds came to watch the dancing, listen to the drumming and enjoy the vendors and food on offer at the Saugeen First Nation "Honouring Mother Earth" 44th Annual Competition Pow Wow on Saturday, August 8th at the James Mason Memorial Cultural and Recreation Centre on French Bay Road, Saugeen First Nation.

The gates opened at 10am with the Grand Entry starting at 12 noon. Master of Ceremonies Beedahsiga Elliott explained that the dancers in the Grand Entry enter the dance arena from the east side and come in through what is called the eastern doorway and dance around the arbour. “The drums are referred to as the heartbeat of Mother Earth,” he said. “The arbour represents the Earth, so when the dancers come in we say that they are dancing around the Earth.”

Chief of the Saugeen First Nation, Vernon Roote welcomed and thanked everyone for coming out to the Pow Wow. He asked everyone to join him in a prayer to ask for good things for the day and to ask the Creator for a good weekend. “I'll do this in my language for the honour of hearing the language of our people,” he said. He welcomed everyone to the event and the community and explained that this Pow Wow was a little different from most of the others in the area, which are traditional whereas this one was a competition Pow Wow, so there was a little difference in the style of it.

Josephine Mandamin who is known as the Water Walker and is currently on the 2015 Sacred Water Walk made an appearance and gave a speech to those in attendance. A blanket made its way around the event and over $1000 was raised for her continued journey.

The 2015 Sacred Water Walk started in Matane, Quebec on June 23 and the journey will end at Madeline Island in Wisconsin in late August. Mandamin, the lead Walker, along with others who have joined the journey are carrying salt water from the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of Lake Superior to raise awareness of oil spills by train derailments across Ontario and Quebec and including ships that may spill oil as they cross the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

When asked what inspired her to start such a journey, Mandamin replied, “It was because of the prophecy that was told in the year 2000 that thirty years from now the cost of water will be as much as gold if we continue with our negligence and 2015 is half way to 2030.”

To see more photos, click HERE.

To see video, click HERE.


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