Bay St. George Annual Powwow
July 13, 14 & 15 2018
The 2018 Powwow will be the 12th Annual Powwow. We are very proud to have kept this event going, it gives the members of our community and people from all over a chance to experience their culture first hand. Our Mi'kmaq youth get the opportunity to learn the ways of our culture, and hopefully pass it on to generations to come.
Lead Female: Robin Benoit
Lead Male: Clint Jeddore
Host Drum: Stoney Bear Singers
Guest Drum: Birch Creek Singers
Guest Drum: TBD
Arena Director: Micheal R. Denny
Emcee: Don Barnaby
What is a Powwow?
Powwow time is Native People getting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships and making new ones. This is a time to renew thoughts of the old ways and to preserve a rich heritage.
Powwow singers are a very important part of the Powwow. Without singers and the rhythm of the drumbeat, there would be no dance. Original songs are in the native language of the singers. Songs are many and varied; fun and festive; war and conquest; honour and family songs; songs of joy and songs of mourning.
Dancing has always been a very special part of all North American Indians. Most dances seen today at Powwows are “social” dances, which might have had different meanings in earlier days, but have evolved through the years to the social dances seen today.
Origin of the Powwow
It is believed by many of the Natives that still practice the traditional ways of life, whose roots trace back to the beginning, “that nature and Native Peoples spoke the same language”. A common belief is that when The Creator made the world, she gave, as in Nature, a uniqueness and power to each tribe. Indian People spoke the same language. Geographically, each nation enjoyed a very respectful and harmonious relationship with Nature as a guide and provider. The relationship with The Creator was pure and its strength was at its peak, being both visible and heard through the voices of Nature.
The spirit of the power is held sacred and only upon instruction from the medicine man or woman, could this power be exercised. Songs and dances that signified spirituality were used in ceremonies. Upon seeing these ceremonies, the early European explorers thought powwow was the whole dance, when it actually referred to healers and spiritual leaders by the Algonquian phrase of Pau Wau.
A Powwow is a celebration of aboriginal culture. ”Powwow” is an Algonquin term meaning “medicine man” or “he who dreams”. A Powwow is a unique event signified by social exchanges, cultural sharing and ceremonious rituals. Indeed, the Powwow is a time of teaching, learning, singing, dancing, feasting, sharing, and healing. Powwows are an expression of culture, pride, and identity. It is a unifying ritual of the young and the old, a recollection of the past and a celebration of the future. Each of the participants at a Powwow has a significant contribution and a role in Aboriginal society. The elders are the carriers of traditional teachings, which are shared with the young and not-so young. It is the duty of the learners to respect their elders for the wisdom that they hold. Women are highly regarded for they are the bearers of life and ultimately of Aboriginal culture. Throughout the Powwow, one can expect to experience the different cultures of the First Nations. Dancers, singers, drummers, elders, traditional teachers, craftsmen and food vendors converge from throughout the Mi’kmaq traditional territory to participate in the excitement. The Powwow begins each day with a grand entry entourage led by a flag bearer carrying the eagle staff – the traditional flag. At this time, the drum begins to reverberate and all are beckoned to remain standing and to remove their hats for the Flag Song and the Veteran’s Song. The honour to sing the Flag Song and Veteran’s Song is bestowed upon the host drum. The eagle staff is held high above the ground, as the flag bearer dances in a clockwise pattern from east to west around the dance area. Behind the flag bearer, war veteran’s parade while carrying the Canadian and American flags. Trailing behind the flag bearers are the lead female and male dancers. Behind the lead dancers are the traditional women, followed by the host of the Powwow. In single file come the male traditional dancers, fancy shawl dancers, and last but not least the children dancers.
Assembling in a circle of life no one is above another. The number four is held sacred in respect to the four cardinal directions. When paying respect, the east is honoured first. The East is where life began. No one can survive without the sun and the sun rises in the east to bring forth life