The White Bear First Nations welcomed dancers from all over Canada and the U.S. for its annual powwow from July 5-7.
Powwows are celebrations that showcase the peoples’ music, dances, regalia, food and crafts.
Changes to the Indian Act in the early part of the 20th century outlawed cultural traditions and ceremonies including the potlatch of the West Coast First Nations and the Sun Dance of the Plains. Since the 1930’s, long before ceremonies and cultural traditions were legal again, White Bear was one of the last remaining communities to host powwows and ceremonies.
Once the laws were changed to allow the practice of their cultures without legal issues, White Bear Band led the cultural resurgence and positioned itself as a leader within the newly emerging “powwow circuit.”
The 1990’s saw a cultural resurgence that has increased the visibility and prominence of powwow dancing and singing to an elite competitive cultural event.
The Bear Claw Casino has hosted the annual summer celebration on behalf of White Bear for a decade, reducing the cost to the band while ensuring the continuity of this important event. White Bear resumed the co-ordination of the event last year, as members young and old, both rural and urban, directed them to situate the nation once again as a leader with premier powwow and summer celebrations for the community. Visitors gathered once again from all over Canada and the United States for this year’s event.