3rd Annual Georgian Bay Two-Spirit Powwow

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Tomorrow (August 5) is the third Georgian Bay Two Spirit Powwow at the M'Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre, 1045 3rd Avenue West in Owen Sound.

Now an annual event, it is set to take place from 12 noon to 6pm, is youth led, and began in 2018 following a vision that had come to the powwow's coordinator in 2014.

In an August 4 media release, the organizing committee reminded media representatives and attendees that the Grand Entry, which gets underway at noon, as well as the Sacred Fire, cannot be photographed or filmed.

Attendees are also asked to bring their own chairs.

In a slice show style video posted to Instagram and shared to their Facebook page, the Two Spirit Powwow Etiquette Guide aims to ensure respect and cultural appreciation at the event.

First, be on time. "Organizers work diligently to ensure a smooth event," read the frame.

Second is to respect the Grand Entry and Opening Prayer. "Many nations will gather and bring their respective flags," the frame said, adding that the Head Elder's prayer is to be respected and listened to.

Also that not all moments need to be photographed. Always ask before taking pictures but prayers, the Grand Entry and the Sacred Fire should not be photographed.

Respect for regalia is also essential. "Regalia represents a person's spirit and is handmade with tireless work often taking years," read the frame. Regalia is not a costume, is not to be touched, and if a feather falls off regalia, it is to be left alone.

Alcohol, drugs or weapons are not welcome at powwows. They are cultural events, not a party.

Support Indigenous artists and vendors. Doing so is not cultural appropriation, recreating another culture's art is. "Support our Indigenous, BIPOC and 2S-LGBTQQIAP+ vendors," read the frame.

Powwows are inclusive events, free from racism and discrimination, and children and individuals of all ages and all nations are welcome. Powwows provide attendees an opportunity to learn about Indigenous culture.

Always put elders first. "Please do not cut in front of an elder in any lineup, it is an act of extreme disrespect," the video said, adding to check that elders have everything they need on a hot summer day and to put them first.

Also, do not assume someone's pronouns. "Pronouns help affirm one's identity," read the frame. It's a simple way to tell someone they are respected and loved and is important for non-binary, trans and Two-Spirit folks.

Two-Spirit is an umbrella term strictly for Indigenous individuals and encompasses their cultural, spiritual, sexual and gender identity. "It often speaks to the role they hold within their community, often as a helper and healer," the video said.

Asking questions respectfully and learning about culture is welcome. Offering tobacco to the person to whom you are asking a question, such as an elder or dancer, is appreciated and is a sign of respect.

The final frame in the video said, "Have the courage to make mistakes and the resilience to grow from them."

The video can be seen in full at

You can follow the Georgian Bay Two-Spirit Powwow on Instagram at and on Facebook at

3rd Annual Georgian Bay Two-Spirit Powwow; Head Elders: Blu Waters & Shirley John; MC: Amy Smoke; Host Drum: Chippewa Travellers; Invited Drum: Spirit Wind; Head Dancers: Indiana Cada, Nichole Leveck & Christal Ouimette; Official Photographers: Bangishimo Johnston & Michael McLuhan; August 5 from 12-6; Grand Entry at 12pm; M'Wikwedong IFC 1045 3rd Ave W Owen Sound, ON