Annual powwow honours women
- EFN Staff | December 10, 2016
2016 marked the 70 th anniversary of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Powwow Princess Pageant. The Pageant takes place during FSIN annual Spirit of Our Nation Powwow. This year’s event was well attended with close to 10000 people visiting throughout the course of the weekend. This year, the theme of the event was Protecting, Honoring and Respecting our Women.
The Powwow Princess Pageant is always a crowd favorite. This year three contestants were judged based on an essay, individual interview which includes their life goals, leadership qualities and their knowledge of the FSIN. They then get to strut their stuff showing off their skills in dance and regalia.
Congratulations to Stephanie Bellegarde who was crowned the new FSIN Powwow Princess this year. She attributes her success to the essay she wrote about the importance of culture and language. Stephanie was surprised and humbled by the unexpected win. “I’ve been told that I am a hidden leader, but I didn’t have the confidence to think I could win. I was very happy to see that, when I did my speech, the crowd agreed with what I said.”
She is happy to be recognized as a role model and to share her stories with the youth. “I have to take my time, as I am opening myself as well, I am very grateful for this opportunity.” The message she hopes to spread during her title year is, “Listen to our Elders and their stories. Learn your language and honour our traditions. It is what defines us as a sovereign Nation. It is what makes us who we are and it connects us to the mother earth and the grandfathers and grandmothers. I encourage the youth to honour them in a good way.”
Along with the lifelong prestigious title, Stephanie will be responsible for representing the FSIN across North America over the next year. No doubt she will be a wonderful role model to many.
Other highlights of the event included funds raised from a blanket dance hosted in support of Standing Rock and the visit from Miss Indian World, Danielle T’Sheena Finn, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation.
For a complete list of the winners in the Singing and Dancing competitions, you can visit: http://www.fsin.com/2016/11/23/another-successful-spirit-of-our-nations-powwow/