LITTLE CURRENT – Teachers, students, family and community members gathered in the schoolyard at Little Current Public School (LCPS) for a powwow celebration as host drum Thunder Earth sang for the grand entry and Chippewa Travellers performed the flag/honour song.
Principal Christie Case welcomed everyone to the powwow event and invited those in attendance to join in the festivities and celebrations of Indigenous culture.
MC Greg Sutherland kept the pace steady as he introduced students Cheyanne Pitawanakwat, Noelle Noakwegijig, Dawn Marshall, McKenna Boyter, Ella Tasse and Aaliyah Townsend who delivered the opening prayer.
Among the dignitaries recognized at the powwow were Rainbow District School Board Trustee Margaret Stringer, Rainbow District School Board Indigenous Education Principal Kathy Dokis, Aundeck Omni Kaning Ogimaa Patsy Corbiere, Sheguiandah Ogimaa Andrew Augonie, elders Elaine Nahwegahbow and Pearl Waindubence.
Head dancers included Pierre Debassige of M’Chigeeng and Alyana Nahwegahbow of Aundeck Omni Kaning. Arena director was Curtis Paibomsai and the LCPS staff carrier was Marcus Sandford.
A heartfelt gift presentation from the students of LCPS to the First Nations chiefs and elders was made by students of Casey Boivert’s Grade 7/8 class Aiden Negannegijig, Saraya Eshkawkogan, Abrielle Mishibinijima, Keira Secord and Andrew Rose.
Following the presentations and speeches, students were treated to exhibition dances of the Women’s Traditional, Men’s Traditional, Jingle Dance, Grass Dance, Women’s Fancy and Men’s Fancy.
Interspersed with the exhibitions were intertribal dances where students and community members were encouraged to partake.
Laughter, universal smiles and the steady buzz of excited conversation by the students at the event indicated that everyone was fully engaged in the powwow activities.