All Nations Pow Wow and Gathering coming to York

All nations pow wow and gathering posterThe 13th annual All Nations Pow Wow & Gathering: Celebrating Indigeneity and Academia is less than a month away, with three days of festivities, including a conference, planned for March 5 to 7.

The Aboriginal Students’ Association at York (ASAY) and the Pow Wow Steering Committee are extending a welcome to the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community at York and within the wider GTA to take part in this educational and ceremonial event. For up-to-date information, visit ASAY’s Facebook page.

This year’s theme, “Breaking Intergenerational Trauma: Motivation, Inspiration, Dedication from the 7th Generation,” was established with the purposeful intention to celebrate and honour the healing, restoration and resurgence of indigenous knowledge, ceremonies, peoples, communities, nations and all their relations, and, specifically, the role that young indigenous learners play in shaping the future.

The Prophecy of the Seventh Generation is common throughout many indigenous nations. As the Mohawk prophecy states, “After seven generations of living in close contact with the Europeans, the Onkwehonwe would rise up and demand that their rights and stewardship over the Earth be respected and restored … the children of the Kanien’kehake are the seventh generation.” This spiritual reawakening emphasizes the importance of the elders’ responsibility to make space to respect, honour, recognize and learn from young indigenous learners and leaders who are actualizing positive change and transformation in their communities.

The spirit and intent of the Prophecy of the Seventh Generation is incorporated into the event. The three-day event kicks off with the opening ceremonies on Thursday, March 5, at 7pm in Osgoode Hall’s Moot Court, Ignat Kaneff Building, Keele campus.

Immediately following the opening ceremonies, Navajo director Sydney Freeland’s film Drunktown’s Finest will be featured. The plot intersects the lives and stories of three young Native Americans – an adopted Christian girl, a rebellious father-to-be and a promiscuous transsexual – who strive to break away from intergenerational trauma and confront the hardships of life on an Indian reservation.

The event will also feature special performances and guest speakers Shawnee Talbot, Nataanii Means, Kahsenniyo Tahnee Wilson and Fallon Simard.

As well, the third annual Knowledge In Sharing Stories (K.I.S.S.) Conference will take place on Friday, March 6, from 10am to 4pm in Osgoode’s Moot Court. K.I.S.S. provides a platform for indigenous and non-indigenous learners, researchers, community members, and artists to share their stories on breaking intergenerational trauma and how they are making a difference in their communities.

The annual Pow Wow is a highly anticipated event for the indigenous community in Toronto. On Saturday, March 7, Vari Hall will be radiating to the beat of the drums, singers, dancers, vendors, education and career fair information booths, and more. Grand entry will commence at 12:30pm and there will be a shaking of tail feathers until 4:30pm. In recognition of their hard work, the dancers, singers, volunteers, organizers and community members will be celebrated with a feast in the Underground Restaurant.

The Feast and Gala will take place promptly at 5pm, with special performances by Deborah Wynne, Tahnee Bennett, Beat Boxers and more. To help offset the costs of the event, the organizers are requesting a $5 donation, pay-what-you-can or any non-perishable food donations, which will go to the York Federation of Students’ Food Bank.

ASAY and the Pow Wow Steering Committee would like to acknowledge the following departments, associations and organizations for their continued support and financial commitment to making this event a success: the Centre for Aboriginal Student Services (CASS) at York, the York Federation of Students, the Osgoode Indigenous Students’ Association, OPIRG at York and Wahta Springs.