Heart of Treaty Six and partners are a few sleeps away from the second annual Interschool Powwow in Lloydminster.
Planners are shifting the event to indoors at the Centennial Civic Centre to safeguard against the weather, says Clint Chocan with the planning committee.
Over 15 schools from around the region and Lloydminster will be attending the event with the Grand Entry at 10 a.m. and the Dance Out at 2 p.m. Chocan says the Elders will lift the pipe at 8 a.m. ahead of the opening ceremony and registration will take place right up to the start time at 10 a.m.
“We will bring in the Eagle Staffs, the flags and if there are any veterans that want to join us we will acknowledge the veterans and then we will have the royalty coming from other nations, powwow royalty – followed by the dignitaries and Heart of Treaty Six members and the dancers,” says Chocan regarding the order of the Grand Entry.
Chocan continues that several people will bring greetings at that time followed by the actual powwow.
“In a regular powwow, you would have categories dance within their dance styles, but being an interschool powwow, we would like the dancers to dance with their grade divisions,” says Chocan.
Then at noon Heart of Treaty Six will share a few things on history and on its objectives towards reconciliation.
Chocan says the day is an opportunity for Indigenous and more specifically First Nations kids to acknowledge their identity, to be proud of who they are and build their self-worth.
“It’s to combat issues that stem from intergenerational trauma in Indigenous communities, where one of the issues by far that is so prevalent is suicide.” Chocan adds that sharing from personal experience this is still an issue for many, and organizers hope that the young people get connected with Indigenous cultural perspectives and spirituality.