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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 Indigenous 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 and arts and crafts during the Odawa Pow Wow near Ottawa. 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. The 23rd annual Mississaugas of Scugog Island Pow Wow takes place July 21-22. Experience traditional song, dance, craft and food of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Pow Wow, near Orillia in mid-August.
Billed as the loudest and proudest pow wow in Ontario, check out the Rama Pow Wow August 24-25. That same weekend is the annual Three Fires Homecoming Pow Wow and Traditional Gathering of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. On the shores of Lake Huron, just north of Southampton, the Saugeen First Nation Pow Wow takes places August 10-11, while on the east side of the Bruce Peninsula, the Annual Neyaashiinigmiing Anishinaabeking Pow Wow is August 17-18.
Late August marks 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.