The Chinook Lodge centre will be hosting its annual Welcome Back Powwow on Sept. 27 at SAIT’s Stan Grad Centre.
“Powwow’s are very traditional and they are quite ceremonial from the aboriginal aspect,” Jean Dube, Chinook Lodge’s Aboriginal student advisor, said in a recent interview.
This will be Dube’s first powwow at SAIT since she joined Chinook earlier this year, and she’s optimistic about attendance for the event.
“If someone says there is a powwow everyone kind of runs towards it – it is a big social,” she said.
The theme for this year’s powwow is “honouring education.”
Dube describes the gatherings as “colourful, loud, and engaging.”
“And there is always lots and lots of food,” Dube said with a laugh.
For the powwow, organizers at the Chinook Lodge are attempting to keep the menu as traditional as possible, by serving First Nations’ prairie food like buffalo soup or stew, bannock and Saskatoon berries.
The powwow will begin at 1 p.m. where four drumming groups are invited from area reservations.
“If you ever want to come and connect to your soul that is what I suggest – come and listen to the drums,” Dube said.
Invited guests include an elder from the Siksika Nation, Hal Eagletail as the master of ceremonies, and this year’s Calgary Stampede Indian princess Carly Weasel Child.
“In the Aboriginal community we are all about joking and being pranksters – so that is something [the audience] will hear a lot of,” said Dube.
The powwow will begin with a grand entrance with representatives from SAIT, Aboriginal students from SAIT, someone from Chinook Lodge and other members from the Aboriginal community.
After the master of ceremonies finishes speaking, the traditional dances will begin. There are different categories including tiny tots, youths and adults, with separate women and men’s dances.
“We have people coming as young as two-years-old,” said Dube.
There will also be a traditional honour song and a gift giveaway at the event.
“That is part of our culture,” Dube said.
“We are very giving.”
“People think [powwows] are just for Aboriginal people and it’s not – Jean Dube, Chinook Lodge’s Aboriginal student advisor
Chinook Lodge is an Aboriginal resource centre located in the Senator Burns buildings.
The lodge hosts a variety of events throughout the school year including the annual powwow.
“I would just love it if people would just come and experience [it],” said Dube.
“People think [powwows] are just for Aboriginal people and it’s not – It is time we learn about the traditions and culture of the First Nation people.”