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Indigenous Friendship Centre hosts annual pow-wow this weekend

Popular event returns this June 10 and 11 at Lee Park

This weekend, the Indigenous Friendship Centre is hosting the 15th annual Maamwi-Kindaaswin Pow-Wow at Lee Park, 800 Memorial Park Drive, North Bay. The event runs through Saturday and Sunday and admission is free.

Last year, over 5,000 people attended, and “it’s going to be an incredible event this year” as well, noted Sandra Thorkelson, the communications director for the Indigenous Friendship Centre. Bob Goulais from Nipissing First Nation is the event emcee, and the Ottawa River Singers are coming to town to fill the head drum roll.

See: Pow wow presents opportunity to 'renew our connection'

Everyone is welcome to attend – “it’s an opportunity for the entire community to come together” – and enjoy a fun weekend of dancing, music, drumming, and sunrise ceremonies.

Plus, there will be 50 vendors on site selling foods, crafts, and all variety of wares, and Thorkelson mentioned there will also be about a dozen information booths as well.

Science North will also be on the grounds throughout the weekend.

She also reminded people to bring a lawn chair and a re-usable water bottle which can be refilled on site. Organizers are trying to keep the plastic waste at a minimum. Also, leave the dogs at home, unless it’s a service animal. Also, Thorkelson asks people to park at the soccer fields across the street, as the lot at Lee Park will be reserved for elders, vendors, and those who need to park closer to the action.

This year’s event theme is Celebrating Our Growth, Thorkelson explained. Things are going well at the Indigenous Friendship Centre these days, and the organizers wanted to celebrate that. More programs have been added, more people are being helped, and soon, Suswin Village, a transitional apartment complex to help give folks a hand up, is very close to completion.

The pow-wow is a great way for families to come together and offers a unique way to learn about Indigenous cultures. Thorkelson is also excited for a performance from the Scollard Hall Secondary drum group.

For the early risers, the Sunrise Greeting takes place at 4:45 a.m. This event takes place at the Pow-wow Grounds Tipi, which is being constructed the night before for the occasion.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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