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Pow wows are sacred gathering of Indigenous peoples to honour the past, renew friendships and celebrate with music, song, food, dance and storytelling. Traditionally held in spring, pow wows were also a celebration of the end of winter and the rebirth of nature.
Experience the dazzling display of competitive dancers in brilliantly coloured regalia representing legends and lore. Listen to the haunting beat of the drum, and songs about warriors, respect and social life passed down by the elders for generations. Sample aboriginal fare and admire authentic artwork, crafts, carving, beadwork and jewelry.
Witness fire dancers at the Akwesasne International Pow Wow on Cornwall Island in early May. Celebrate the rich arts heritage of the Six Nations of Grand River at the Champion of Champions Pow Wow near Brantford in July, featuring dancers from across Canada and the US. Experience traditional song, dance, craft and food of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Pow Wow, near Orillia in mid-August.
Late August marks the colourful and vibrant annual Three Fires Homecoming Pow Wow of the Mississaugas of the New Credit in Hagersville, near Hamilton, as well as the Algonquins Of Pikwàkanagàn Traditional Pow Wow celebrating Algonquin culture on the shores of the Bonnechere River and Golden Lake in the Ottawa Valley.
Visit the Museum of Ontario Archaeology in London for the annual Native Harvest Festival and Pow Wow with family activities and hands-on workshops in mid-September or learn about the Anishinaabek from the great Mississauga Nation (which includes the Odawa, Ojibwa, and Algonquin peoples) at the Curve Lake First Nation Pow Wow, near Buckhorn in the Kawarthas.
Camp along the French River during the annual Dokis First Nation Annual Traditional Pow Wow in late June. The Temagami First Nation on Bear Island welcomes you to the Bear Island Pow Wow in mid-July in the heart of pristine Lake Temagami. Witness sacred Ojibwa and Cree ritual and beautiful regalia at the Constance Lake pow wow.
Celebrate the tradition of the Anishinaabek people at the Wiikwemkoong Traditional Pow Wow, eastern Canada’s oldest and largest competition Pow Wow held on August Civic Holiday Weekend on the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island.
Get the annual Great Lakes Pow wow Guide.
Throughout the year, Manitoulin Island is host to a number of pow wows and traditional ceremonies celebrating First Nations culture, food and history, including the Zhibbaahaasing First Nation Traditional Pow Wow in August, home to the world’s largest peace pipe, drum and outdoor dream catcher.