If you are in the Saskatoon area, Wanuskewin Heritage Park is the place to be on National Aboriginal Day! Not only do they host a Powwow in the evening with approximately 3,000 spectators, but they also hold cultural activities throughout the day for more than 900 children from Saskatoon. Everything from cooking bannock on a camp fire to making your own pottery can be done! While I was there, I learnt about the projectile points used by indigenous people nearly 6,000 years ago. I also enjoyed a dance and drum performance by Vincent Massey Elementary School. Click here for more photos.
Wanuskewin officially opened 21 years ago. It is a heritage park located only 15 minutes north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The interpretive centre has a gift shop, restaurant, two art galleries, a theatre, an activity room and an outdoor ampitheatre. Not to mention beautiful interpretive paths surrounding the facility. With a goal ‘to advance the understanding and appreciation of the evolving cultures of the Northern Plains indigenous peoples,’ Wanuskewin is doing just that! There is a never-ending list of programs taking place at the park. For more information on these, click here.
The three day Powwow kicked off with a Grand Entry followed by the dance competition. There were over 225 dancers registered in five different age categories. Everyone’s regalia (clothing garments) were so colourful and beautiful! I couldn’t take my eyes away. There were also several different drum groups from around Saskatchewan who played. When I asked Yvonne Daniels, an organizer of the Powwow from Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, how many different songs there were, she told me that there were too many to count. Each group has their own songs which have been passed down for generations. So cool!
Here is a short video of the first day of the three-day powow. Enjoy!