The Powwow Times International Gathering returned to Red Deer’s Westerner Park this weekend. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

The Powwow Times International Gathering returned to Red Deer’s Westerner Park this weekend. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

International powwow returns to Red Deer

The Powwow Times International Gathering made its grand return to Red Deer this past weekend.

The second annual edition of the event began Friday at Westerner Park and wrapped up on Sunday.

“Powwows are about celebrating culture,” said Diane Gardipy, a member of the powwow committee and Elders co-ordinator.

“This brings people together from all Indigenous communities across North America. The powwow is about song and dance, as well as celebrating our languages and practices.”

Gardipy has lived in Red Deer for 17 years. She said powwows have become more prominent in central Alberta over the past four years or so.

“It’s important to share our culture within central Alberta so there’s an understanding of who we are as people and what our culture is about,” she said.

“Powwows are for everyone. They are an Indigenous cultural event, but everyone is welcome to a powwow.”

The Powwow Times International Gathering was a competition powwow, Gardipy explained.

“The dancers, the drummers and the crowd come to bring their best,” she said.

“As a people, we want to come to celebrate because it makes us feel good. This is who we are and these are our traditions and practices – this is what we do. We like to hear our music, we like to dance, we like to witness everyone’s regalia.”

The first Powwow Times International Gathering was held in 2021, when there were still COVID-19 restrictions in place. About 5,000 people attended the inaugural event throughout the course of the weekend.

This year’s powwow was even bigger.

“We had 3,000 students registered during (Friday) when it was a youth event. We had students from schools from Red Deer Public, Red Deer Catholic, Wolf Creek, Chinook’s Edge. There were also some from home school families, Maskwacis, and even Edmonton and Calgary,” said Kim Verrier, another member of the powwow committee and the volunteer co-ordinator.

There was an Indigenous Elders lounge at the international powwow to provide a safe place and a traditional meal for the Indigenous Elders from across North America who attended the event.

“As hosts, we want to welcome our Elders into our community in a good way and to feed them because our culture is about sharing and honouring our Elders,” Gardipy said.

“They are our residential school survivors and we want to care of them because they’ve taken care of us. We want to sit with them, hear their stories of where they came from and their communities.”



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The Powwow Times International Gathering returned to Red Deer’s Westerner Park this weekend. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

The Powwow Times International Gathering returned to Red Deer’s Westerner Park this weekend. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

The Powwow Times International Gathering returned to Red Deer’s Westerner Park this weekend. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

The Powwow Times International Gathering returned to Red Deer’s Westerner Park this weekend. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.



Don't have an account? Click here to sign up
Pop-up banner image