FNUniv pow-wow biggest one yet
- EFN Staff | April 12, 2017
More than 7,000 people, including 750 registered dancers, 21 drum groups, volunteers, vendors and spectators, made this year’s First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) 39th pow-wow the biggest event ever.
Elder and veteran Tony Cote was one of the visionary chiefs who helped establish the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) now known as FNUniv. He has witnessed the pow-wow celebration grow from day one and says this year’s event was a great sight to see.
“I’ve never seen a bigger crowd than this,” he says. “The first grand entry was just grand…it wonderful to see the colours the dancers wear. It was beautiful.”
Cote says people are starting to get back to their traditions and culture and commends the younger generations for becoming more involved in the cultural event.
“That’s a good sign. I see a lot of young people participating and that’s how it should be,” he says. “We got to try encouraging our young people to take up their culture.”
Richard Missens, the chair of the pow-wow committee, says 39 years ago the event began by SIFC students.
“They wanted to celebrate the school year after finishing exams and papers…it’s a good time to celebrate,” he says.
Missens has been the chair of the pow-wow committee for 12 years and says this is the most dancers and registered drums since he’s been there.
“The students have begun to get more involved and the nice thing is that we’re using technology now to share with the world,” says Missens. “When I started as chair, we didn’t have that kind of technology.”
Missens says the pow-wow committee is already thinking about planning for next year’s 40th annual celebration.
“The committee have all kinds of ideas so we want to do something wonderful, something beautiful and something special,” he says.
Fraser Heathen, third-year Business Administration student and also the newly elected FNUniv Student Association (SA) President, hopes the SA will work closely with the pow-wow committee to brainstorm ideas for next year’s 40th event.
“We’re all in this working together. We’ll make it happen and make it big,” he says. “I commend the pow-wow committee, they did a great job.”
The pow-wow event held many dance specials, the FNUniv Princess Pageant and even a moment of silence for the soldiers who fought and died at the Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War.