For attendees, non-Indigenous attendees particularly, please remember we are fortunate to be welcomed in celebrating this event along Indigenous participants and hosts. As guests, please note protocol is important when invited into Indigenous spaces. Out of respect and courtesy to those who have welcomed us, being considerate and compliant with attendee etiquette is the least we can do. There is no harm in asking questions, if you are unsure of what you can and cannot do at a Pow Wow. Always ask, never assume. Obeying protocol is compulsory. Given that these events were once banned not too long ago, being mindful of our presence and conduct is important, especially in the context of our colonial present and history.
As per Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., "While there are regionally specific [Pow Wow] dances, there are some dances that are typically performed at most pow wows." There are several dances performed by men at most pow wows which include: Traditional, Fancy (Feather or Dance) and Grass. As well, the following are dances performed by women, such as Traditional, Jingle Dress, and Fancy Shawl.
Drumming involves a host drum, involving eight men drummers, and guest drums. Drums produce song beats but "it is the songs and range of pitches, that provide the melody the dancers focus on and meld their dance to."
Additionally, the Master of Ceremony (MC) oversees the Pow Wow schedule, ensuring it runs in a timely manner. The MC also provides information about songs, dances, the Pow Wow's background, the performers and the participants.
Another important aspect of the Pow Wow is the Grand Entry. Be aware of protocols, particularly picture-taking, during this part of the event. Photographs might not be permitted at this point.
Hernandez, Catherine. CBC Arts. "How to be an Ally During Pow Wow Season."
Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.. Pow Wow Primer.
Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.. Pow Wow Protocols.
Joseph, Bob. Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. Pow Wow Dances.
"This website provides support for all levels within school jurisdictions to increase awareness, understanding and application of First Nations, Métis and Inuit histories, perspectives and ways of knowing for the purpose of implementing treaty and residential schools education and Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for education."
-- From: Empowering the Spirit
Image By: Cordelia Sheppard
Author: Donna Duric
Date Posted: May 28, 2017
"The Crown, in the 1780s, recognized the need to secure communication and supply lines to their western outposts and to unite the settlements along Lake Ontario from Kingston to Niagara. In order to meet Crown objectives, Sir John Johnston, Superintendent General of the Indian Department, met in 1787 with a number of Mississaugas at the Bay of Quinte where the Mississaugas of the Credit purportedly sold the lands of the Toronto Purchase Treaty. A supposed deed documenting the sale of the lands was found years later and raised serious questions about the legitimacy of the deal between the Crown and the Mississaugas. Problematically, the deed was found blank and had no description of the land 'purchased' by the Crown." (Continue reading)
View the Toronto Purchase Specific Claim – Arriving at an Agreement booklet