SHEGUIANDAH FIRST NATION – The Jingtamok (powwow) in Sheguiandah First Nation celebrated 30 years this past weekend, offering a fun and action-packed schedule that brought out scores of dancers, drummers, vendors and spectators to witness this Island-favourite event.
Saturday’s grand entry took place right on time at 1 pm. A grass dance featuring host drum Red Man took place just before, with grass dancers beginning to mat down the high foliage within the arbour and offering a blessing for the grounds.
This year’s event was themed ‘Voices of our Nations’ and emcee Dan Fox acknowledged all the past emcees over the past 30 years of this event’s history.
Sheguiandah First Nation Ogimaa Andrew Aguonie stressed the importance of taking action against climate change and pollution in his opening remarks. Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald thanked Sheguiandah and its leaders for welcoming everyone to their lands for the celebration.
“These are social gatherings between settlers and our people. It’s about sharing wealth, abundance and the good things the land has to offer,” said Regional Chief Archibald.
Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare said he knew how proud Sheguiandah First Nation band members are about the place they live and welcomed the opportunity to share in that with them.
Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes brought greetings from MPP Mike Mantha and party leader Jagmeet Singh, adding that she had been pushing for Indigenous rights to be a part of all government motions despite this push being ultimately defeated.
Jim Atkinson carried the Sheguiandah Warriors’ Staff, Victor Pitawanakwat brought the UCCM Police Staff, Kalem Antoine bore the Zhibaahaasing Staff, Daniel Peltier carted the Addictions and Recovery Eagle Staff, Henry Eshkibok toted the Warrior Eagle Staff, Tom Cowie conveyed the Hiawatha Eagle Staff and the Anishinabek Nation Staff was delivered by its grand council chief, Glen Hare. There was also a community eagle staff representing Canadian Forces Base Borden.
Visiting royalty was Miss Wawaskinaga, Brittany Waindubence; and Junior Miss Wawaskinaga, Nova Waindubence; both from Whitefish River First Nation.
Other drums at the event included Spirit Bear, Thunder Earth, Waabinoong Giizhis, Genaabaajing Jrs. and Mshiikenh Singers from Lakeview School in M’Chigeeng.
Chop Waindubence served as arena director, Marie Eshkibok-Trudeau and Wilfred Trudeau served as head elders, Joe Endanawas was head veteran and head dancers were Kimberley and Robert Stoneypoint.
Other activities at the event included a hand drum competition, potato dance, bingo and fireworks on Saturday evening.