of indigenous art
Insights into our Pow Wow Circle, Ribbon Skirts & Regalia
September 22, 2023 - November 29, 2023
Gallery is Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 4pm
“A Pow Wow is a gathering of First Nations that come together to celebrate their history and honour their ancestors through singing and dancing. But for some it is a way to celebrate our losses and regain our social activities in a safe environment. We celebrate mostly two types of gatherings, a Traditional Pow Wow or Contest Pow Wow. All of our gatherings are open to everyone and all nations to come and experience.
The Pow Wow gatherings were borrowed from the Plains Indian and the southern western nations. One of the stories is that Indigenous socials were taken in part from the Bill Cody’s Wild West Show as early 1833. The Grand Entry came from the show stopping entrance, where famous Indians like Geronimo and Sitting Bull would ride into an arena on the back of horses in regalia. That was incorporated to the kind of Grand Entry you see today in our social gatherings.Today there are some aspects of ceremony times but the Pow Wow itself is not a ceremony. One purpose of our gathering is to introduce our young people to different nations so that they could socialize. According to the settler history the first recorded first Pow wow was in 1923.
In Canada, our ceremonial/social gatherings were obstructed in 1876 by the Indian Act and the First Nations people were not legally allowed to gather again until 1951. In some parts of Canada, First Nations began celebrating the Pow Wow again in the early 1960’s.“
BFN Heritage and Culture Coordinator