Canupawakpa Dakota Nation held their first pow wow in several years on Saturday, Sept. 4. Many vehicles ringed the circular arena for an afternoon, and later, an evening ceremony and competition.
To start the event, flag bearers enter the ring, one bearing the eagle feather staff. A Flag Song and Victory Song were performed. Announcer Bill Taylor explained, “We pay tribute to all our veterans that served in World War One, Two, Korea and even in Desert Storm. Many served in peace time as well.”
A Wacipi - powwow – is one of the most important ways that Dakota people celebrate their culture. Spiritual concepts are expressed physically in drumming and the dance that follows the drummers’ lead and reflects the words of songs.
Through the dance, which is prayer, Wakan Tanka the Creator is acknowledged.
“These gatherings as a community, the drum and songs, have always been a form of healing for our people,” says Carol McKay Whitecloud in an interview.
Saturday’s main attraction was a dazzling show of colour, feathers, beads, quill work and embroidery – the dancers’ costumes. This pow wow also provided an opportunity for competition with $500 prizes available for the winners of different categories.
Burgers and pulled pork, both with delicious bannock buns were available, served by Canupawakpa residents and by food truck vendors.