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Sitansisk First Nation kicks off pow wow season in N.B.

Click to play video: 'Sights and sounds of Sitansisk Pow Wow'
Sights and sounds of Sitansisk Pow Wow
The Sitansisk First Nation has officially kicked off Pow Wow season in New Brunswick this weekend. Suzanne Lapointe has the sights and sounds – Jun 26, 2022

An estimated 10,000 people came out to Sitansisk First Nation, formerly known as Saint Mary’s, to take part in their first pow wow in three years.

“This has been one of our biggest by far,” coordinator Nicole Carty said on Sunday.

For the first time ever, the City of Fredericton shut down a part of Union street to allow for larger crowds.

Read more: N.B. communities celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on the lawn of the legislature

Carty said there were even tour buses that came specifically for the pow wow.

“It’s just a good feeling to have that togetherness all over again,” she said.

Sitansisk Chief Allan Polchies Jr. couldn’t agree more, saying crowds from Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario had come to see the dancing, drumming, and other cultural demonstrations over the three-day event.

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“It really gives us a sense of pride that we’re able to offer our Wolastoqey culture and share it with all of our allies and our friends to come together and enhance their spirits,” he said in an interview.

Read more: Saint Mary’s First Nation Chief criticizes lack of consultation on new names for local entities

Jingle dancer Stevie-Hall Polchies is thrilled to be dancing at the pow wow again after the two year pandemic-induced hiatus.

“I’ve been dancing since I was about four years old so I’ve been to quite a few (pow wows),” she said on Sunday.

She beamed describing the feeling of being able to dance at a pow wow for the first time in years.

“It feels amazing! It’s like a wonderful experience to see everybody again. It feels like it’s been two years too long and it’s been beautiful to see everyone and share our culture again.”

Though she mostly used to do fancy shawl dancing, she’s back this year with a brand new jingle dress she’s only worn once before.

“I just wanted to get that feeling of having that healing dress on, it’s just a whole new feeling. I just feel more myself,”she said.

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This marks the start of Pow Wow season in the province.

“Every weekend throughout the whole summer here in New Brunswick there will be a pow wow,” said Chief Allan Polchies.

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