Being Canadian means that you have done and experienced some things that are truly part of Canadian pride and joy. Yes, it’s about eating a fried beaver tail with apple butter. Yes, it’s about eating maple syrup poured on snow. Yes, it’s about going to a Barrie Colts game. But do you know what else it’s about? It’s about going to a Pow Wow!
If you have never been to a Pow Wow, then let us tell you about it.
You’ve got dancers and singers! BOOM!
You’ve got culture and expression! BOOM!
You’ve got drums! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Georgian College has been hosting a Pow Wow for the last 14 years. Most Pow Wows take place in the summer months, but Georgian has theirs in the off-season which is a bonus for us in Barrie. In the winter months, we are always looking for something entertaining and interesting to do. Put the Annual Georgian College Traditional Pow Wow on March 9th in your calendar. It is an entire day affair with drumming, dancing and authentic Indigenous crafts and food.
Pow Wow dancing is different than any other style of dancing you’ve seen. There are many different styles of dance and each different style has its purpose. A special dance is like a story. For example, it could be of a hunt and the dancers will showcase different movements. Crouching, tracking, etc. Pay special attention to each dancer’s movements and see if you can interpret the story they are trying to tell. Considering that some of the dancer’s regalia weighs in the 40 lb margin, we certainly appreciate their strength and vigour.
Georgian Pow Wow entry and parking is free but it is suggested to bring a non-perishable food item for the Georgian Student Food Locker.
Barrie Pow Wows
So, here’s something that we found interesting and just had to share. There is also a Two Spirit Pow Wow happening just outside of Barrie in August. You’ll want to be there for the special Jingle Dress and community ceremony.
What happens if you can’t make the Georgian Pow Wow? No worries. The Barrie Native Friendship Centre also hosts a Pow Wow in the summer months, check their website once the snow has melted and they’ll have it updated with this years date.
Barrie Uncovered Suggestion: The Pow Wow Grand Entry. You will be asked to stand as all the dancers enter the arena with their flags – during this time, please don’t take any photos. As well, do not touch anyone’s drum or bang any drum unless it is your own. There are many teachings on the significance of the drum, perhaps you may hear a few of them at the Pow Wow.
Written by: Sharon Johnston