The 36th Annual Tyendinaga Traditional Pow Wow: Tsitewatsiró:ten: Rekindling Our Fire, takes place August 12-13 in Tsi Tkerhetoton Park. Enjoy (and when an all-nations dance is called – participate) traditional dancing, take in the beautiful regalia of participants and learn more about various Indigenous cultures. A big part of the culture is good food. You’ll be able to get corn soup (lyed or dried), Indian Tacos (toppings you’d expect on a taco, served on Fry Bread), strawberry drink, and Bison burgers. The event will feature over 70 Indigenous craft vendors selling handmade items like art and jewellery.
WHAT IS A POW WOW?
A Pow Wow is a celebration of Indigenous culture, in which people from diverse Indigenous nations gather for the purpose of dancing, singing and honouring their ancestors. From the 1800s to the present, Pow Wows have stood as a testament against assimilationist policies and institutions. Pow Wow dancers and musicians who refused to abandon their cultural traditions resisted colonial and racially discriminatory legislation, both on and off reserves.
Today, Pow Wows are a place where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples can come together in peace to celebrate tradition and promote an enduring culture.
POW WOW ETIQUETTE
Take a moment to read about Pow Wow etiquette to make sure you are respectful and make the most of your time there.
Be on time:
Pow Wows run on a tight schedule, so be on time to events to avoid missing important moments.
To remain respectful of the culture and ceremony, make sure to dress modestly. If the weather is hot, a t-shirt and shorts are okay.
Respect the Opening Prayer:
The Grand Entry and the Opening Prayer signal the beginning of the Pow Wow. The Opening Prayer is always performed by an Elder, and the drum takes centre stage as the most important part.
Ask before taking photos:
There are some times during the Pow Wow that shouldn’t be photographed, such as ceremonies and prayers. Ask permission before snapping.
Do not bring drugs or alcohol:
A Pow Wow is a cultural event and drugs and alcohol are not part of the culture. Therefore, alcohol and drugs are never allowed on the premises and should not be consumed prior to attending.
Pay attention to announcers:
The Master of Ceremonies will be talking throughout the event, so make sure to listen for when to sit, when to stand, and when to join in the dance!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions:
A Pow Wow is a spiritual experience for those performing, but you may not fully understand what’s going on if you’re new to these events. If you have any questions, just ask!
Don’t forget your tobacco:
Offering tobacco to an Elder or dancer before a question is a sign of tremendous respect.
Browse the local vendors:
When you’re buying from the artisans, you’re supporting Indigenous families and their communities.
Kids are welcome:
Pow Wows are community and family events, so they’re a great place to bring children to introduce them to Indigenous culture.
Leave your dogs at home:
Dogs are attracted to the medicines that the drummers keep and they reduce the benefits of this medicine.
Registered service animals are permitted.
It’s regalia, not costume:
A dancer’s regalia is how they dress their spirit. It’s a special piece of handmade clothing that holds spiritual significance to the dancer, and is adorned with beading that has taken many hours (or even years) to assemble. Be respectful and always ask before taking photos or touching!
STAY UP TO DATE AND FOLLOW ALONG