Annual Spring Powwow features hundreds of performers

About 800 dancers and singers performed at the weekend-long powwow. File / Global News

REGINA – The 36th annual First Nations University of Canada Spring Celebration Powwow took over the Brandt Centre at Evraz Place this weekend.

“It’s about bridging the gap between First Nations and non-First Nations people,” said Russell Paskimen, who travelled over six hours by car from Loon Lake to dance at the event.

“Some people are going through different types of issues, and we send strength that way through dance and song,” he said.

The celebration, which brings together about 800 singers and dancers, is as a way to celebrate the new season.

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“The animals, they have their babies, and grass grows, so, it’s Mother Earth waking up from winter,” said Richard Missens, chair of the powwow’s committee.

The weekend-long event is also a time to honour cultural diversity.

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“It’s celebrations like this that bring us together and create the strong spirits that have pulled us through a lot of the negative history that we’ve been through,” said Chasity Delorme, FNUC’s student association president.

Between 6,000-7,000 visitors are expected to attend the event.

“Makes living here one of the best things. Everybody can just hang out and enjoy where everybody came from,” said Chad Keuler, whose children asked to go to the powwow.

Paskimen, 33, started dancing when he was nine. He hopes his traditions continue long into the future.

“It’s a very humbling experience to pass on the knowledge to my children. I’m a father of eight,” said Paskimen with a laugh.

And this weekend, he was an educator to many more.

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