The White Bear Education Complex held its 4th Annual Interschool Pow Wow on May 10. The idea behind holding an interschool Pow Wow came to Committee Chairperson Lisa McArthur when she was working up north. She thought that it was a fantastic way for youth to come together and showcase their skills, as well as providing a way to honour youth.
“I believed in something for our children and this was a way to celebrate our youth.” McArthur stated in her opening address.
The day began with Elder Marion Littlechief offering words of prayer to begin the day. A Grand Entry was made led by flag carriers, which included veterans, elders, dignitaries, committee members, and school officials. Followed by all of the dancers who were about to take part in the day dressed in their beautiful regalia.
The Tiny Tot category was the first to perform. Children five years old and under demonstrated their love of dance. All of those entered went home winners, gaining five dollars prize money each.
Next the Junior Girls competed in Fancy Dance, Jingle, and Traditional Style. Fancy is the style that had been known as butterfly, as the girls spin their colourful regalia represents the movement of butterflies between flowers. Taking first place in this category was Kyleah Alexson. This was then followed by the Jingle Dance, which had developed in the Lake of the Woods region of Ontario as a Medicine Dance. This was won by Creedence Bird with a beautiful performance. Finally the Junior Girls Traditional Style was performed, Avery Yuzicappi taking first place.
The Junior Boys then competed in the Grass Dance followed by the mixed competition of Traditional and Chicken Styles. Donald Wajunta took home the first place prize in Grass, while Drayden McArthur won first in Traditional and Chicken. Both boys won through showcasing their hard work and dedication to dance.
After lunch the Teen Categories were then judged. This portion of the competition began with Girls Fancy. This was won by Ragan Lavallee with a beautiful performance. The Jingle Dance was then performed with Julianne ScabyRobe taking first place. There were no Teen Girl Traditional dancers for the day.
The Teen Boys Grass was won by Daniel Sangrey, while Keanu Noon took first for the Fancy Dance. Teen Boys Traditional went to Nathaniel Deegan.
Throughout the day drumming was provided by White Bear School Singers, Kahkewistahaw Ramblers, and Standing Buffalo. All performed wonderfully, but the White Bear School Singers received first.
The day was made possible through the hard work of many members of the community. With sponsorship supporting the day from the White Bear Resource Centre, Drop-In Centre, Brighter Future, SIGA volunteers, as well as the White Bear Complex and Staff it was a great success.
The morning was attended by the Carlyle Elementary School, watching the Grand Entry and some of the competitions for the day. Gordon F. Kells high school students were then present for the afternoon. They were able to take in the teen categories, while being encouraged to stand up and participate in an inter-tribal dance. After learning a couple basic steps from the competitors, this inter-tribal dance turned into a competition between the G.F. Kells teachers in attendance. Eventually the winner was chosen based on the crowd’s applause, hooting and hollering from the students crowned a very lively dancer as first.
The day was a great success, enjoyed by all who attended. The great skill the performers displayed was extremely impressive. And no matter if one was there to watch or compete it was a wonderful day that succeeded in its goal of honouring youth.