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Dancing

Storytelling, agility, athleticism and being in harmony with the beat of the drum all went into the various dances at the Saugeen First Nation 47th annual Competition Pow Wow August 11 and 12.

Hub Staff

A vibrant display of colourful regalia, dancing, singing, ceremony and the beat of the drum treated guests at the James Mason Memorial Cultural & Recreation Centre, Saugeen First Nation as they hosted their 47th annual Competition Pow Wow August 11 and 12.

“Our theme this year is the residential school survivors and the intergenerational trauma that needs to be recognized,” said Saugeen First Nation Chief Lester Anoquot August 11, adding that a great deal of healing was still needed for many families who continue to be impacted by residential schools. “With that in mind we are dancing in the spirit of healing," he said.

Chief Anoquot explained that Pow Wows were a celebration of culture. “It brings together a lot of outside communities,” he said. “It bridges a lot of culture, exposes the outside community to the native way of life."

For the first time at the Saugeen First Nation Pow Wow, the Pride flag was included in the Grand Entry, the official opening to the event. Saugeen First Nation's Joe Wesley who carried the flag said that it was being raised to let people know that Saugeen First Nation accepts all people for who they are. “We consider our home to be a safe place for all of our brothers and sisters,” he said.

“The rainbow flag is a symbol of hope, a symbol of surviving, the colours are intended to represent the diversity of all people,” said Wesley. “As with colours of the medicine wheel that have their own meanings, such as our medicines, the elements, different races and many, many more teachings, the colours of the rainbow flag define the communities in the LGBTQ+ with aspects that align with our First Nation teachings.”

Guests in attendance had an opportunity to see a variety of different dances over the two day event, all with different meanings and origins. Head Judge Jordan Whiteye explained. “For the males there'll be a traditional dance that represents the story tellers," he said. "The ogichidaa means the warriors.”

"The grass dance is also a warriors dance," Whiteye continued. "When a tribe moved camp, territory to territory, the grass dancers were always the first ones in. The grass used to be the sweet grass and the longer grass hanging from the belts and now today in modern times it's more ribbon and yarn that represent that grass," he said.

“The fancy dance is a faster dance that shows the agility and the speed. A lot of footwork, a lot of spinning. It takes a lot to become a fancy dancer. They say those are our athletes in the sacred circle," said Whiteye.

“The Women's Jingle Dress dance is a healing dance," he continued. "The sound is the healing and that is the Anishinaabe dance, it is Ojibway. The Fancy dance is more like the men's Fancy except you're without the bustles. The women wear shawls.”

Whiteye said that when judging the dancers they considered many different aspects such as storytelling, agility, athleticism, being in harmony with the beat of the drum and an understanding of the dance. “There's a lot of talented First Nations people that come to these celebrations from all over. They've come from all four directions and some from a long ways away," he said.

Golden Age Men

There was plenty of traditional dancing in the Golden Age Men's category at the 47th annual Competition Pow Wow at Saugeen First Nation.

Junior Girl Jingle

Many young dancers took part in the Junior Girls (age 6-12) Jingle Dress dance August 11 at Saugeen First Nation.

Teen Boys Fancy

There was plenty of fast movement and bright coloured regalia in the Teen Boys (age 13-17) Fancy dance August 11 at the James Mason Memorial Culture and Recreation Centre.

Golden Age Women

The Golden Age Women's dancing was steeped in tradition at Saugeen First Nation's 47th annual Competition Pow Wow.

Junior Boys Grass

Agility and coordination in the Junior Boys (age 6-12) Grass Dance August 11.

Teen Girl Jingle

Bright colours and light footwork in the Teen Girls (age 13-17) Jingle Dress Dance at the Saugeen First Nation Pow Wow.

Veterans Song

Leading the way in a song to honour veterans were, from left, Grand Entry Eagle Staff carrier for Neyaashiinigmiing, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, Justin Johnston; Saugeen First Nation Chief Lester Anoquot and Greg Nadjiwon, Chief of Neyaashiinigmiing, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.

Pride Flag

Saugeen First Nation's Joe Wesley spoke to guests about the Pride flag, which was carried in Saugeen First Nation's Pow Wow Grand Entry for the first time this year.

Crowd

Hundreds gathered to watch the dancing at Saugeen First Nation's 47th annual Competition Pow Wow that took place August 11 and 12.

For additional pictures, see More pictures of the 47th annual Competiton Pow Wow at Saugeen First Nation.

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