Georgian PowWowStudents, faculty, staff and the public are invited to Georgian College’s very first Pow Wow At Home Virtual Festival to celebrate and learn about Indigenous culture, songs and dance.

The event, organized by the Barrie Campus Indigenous Resource Centre’s students and staff, features virtual dance competitions throughout the month of March.

“Every year we have amazing dancers, drummers and crafters come together for a really special event but naturally we needed to do things a little differently this this year,” said Special Events Co-ordinator Beedahsiga Elliott. “So, we’ve moved the Pow Wow virtually and also made it a fun dance competition. We’re asking our dancers to submit video of their style of dance and to choose their own music. All the videos will then be compiled together and we’ll have a contest to see who danced the best.”

Elliott explained that dance is very important – not only to who they are as a people but to their very souls. “When we dance, we’re expressing our gratitude to Gichi-Manito, the Great Spirit, for having the ability to dance on Mother Earth,” he said. “We’re also showing our appreciation for another day above ground and another day on this plane of existence. We dance to share, to laugh and to gather as a people.”

The dance categories have been broken up between women, men, and teenagers who will be competing over the next three weeks. All the dancers have to follow a specific set of guidelines with the first-place winners in each category winning $750.

Everyone is invited to follow the hashtag #GCPowWowAtHome on YouTube and other social media platforms. Enter the hashtag into your search bar and you can find the dancers and drummers who have entered the contest and even help pick the winners by liking and commenting. Points will be allotted based on the number of likes and comments made on each video. A judging panel made up of students, alumni, faculty and staff will also add additional points and make the final call on winners.

The women’s competition takes place this week with winners announced on Friday, March 12. The teen’s competition will run March 15 to 19 with the men’s competition wrapping things up from March 22 to 26.

“We hope everyone will check out the dancers and participate in the voting by following the hashtag #GCPowWowAtHome,” said Elliott. “We’re excited about this new way to connect with Mother Earth and we honour those who are here, those who have come before us and those who will be here after us.”

For more information, contact Beedahsiga Elliott at [email protected]

source: media release, Georgian College