Hundreds of people took part in Cambrian College’s powwow on March 24 and 25, its first since 2019.
The event, which carried the theme “Unity in Preserving Mother Earth,” included dancing, of course, but also vendors, a community feast and a hand drum competition.
Despite a forecast snowstorm, many families were in attendance at Saturday’s event, with even some of the tiniest tots dressed in their finest regalia.
Like so many other events, Cambrian’s powwow was on hiatus for the last several years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nokomis Martina Osawamick was the female head elder at the Cambrian powwow this year. She’s also an elder-in-residence with the Wabnode Centre for Indigenous Services at Cambrian.
She said she was honoured to have been named the female head elder, but recalls fondly a time in her younger years when she was the head dancer at Cambrian’s powwow.
Osawamick said it’s “wonderful we get to do this type of thing” at Cambrian College, especially exposing the college’s many international students to Indigenous culture, something they may never have experienced before.
“It's really, really awesome that the college is bringing them in, you know, so they can witness it,” she said.
The male head elder at Cambrian’s powwow was none other than the celebrated artist Leland Bell. The MC was Adrian Trudeau, and the head dancers were Acadia Solomon and Al Plant III.
Among the drum groups performing at the event were Genaabaajing Jrz, Black Bull Moose, North Shore Ogitchiidaa Singers, Young Thunderbirds and Wolf Cloud.
Sudbury MPP Jamie West was among the guests who took part in the grand entry at the powwow on March 25.
Heidi Ulrichsen is a journalist with Sudbury.com