To celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2019 I asked Ray to write about his experience at the All Nations Pow Wow held in Fundy Park on Aug 3 and 4, 2019
I had the great pleasure this past weekend of attending the All Nations PowWow held in Fundy National Park. This is the second time myself and Michelle have been at this event. If you have never been to a PowWow then I encourage you to take the time and attend. This is a great celebration of communities coming together. The word itself, Pow Wow means a gathering for socializing, dancing and celebrating, and believe me that is what was happening at Fundy Park.
Learning about the culture
We were having a great time there, watching the dancers, listening to the singers and just taking in the beautiful backdrop of the Bay of Fundy. The MC for the event would announce before each dance or event took place what was going to happen. Interestingly enough most of the events were open to not only the First nations participants but to everyone onsite. He made it a point to invite all who wanted to participate to come forward and be part of the celebration, a true demonstration of what community is all about.
Invitation to dance
For one event he asked the registered dancers to find someone and invite them out to learn to dance. This is how on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon I met Tully Paul and took part in my very first Inter-tribal dance. The dance was fun, and I and Tully had a great chat. After the song was finished four non-dancers were chosen to then compete in a dance-off, and low and behold I was moving on. The experience was amazing when you sit on the sidelines listening to the music, you hear the music, when you get up and dance you literally feel the music, I could feel the beat of the drum in the ground and it was truly amazing.
I don’t think there could have been a better day, but it did get even better again. During the day we met Vienna Francis. She was selling tickets for a photo of a hummingbird on canvas done by her husband J.P. Francis. I bought some tickets and told her that I was going to win the print. We were on the way home when I got the phone call telling me I had won. J.P. is an amazing photographer, I am very honoured to have his work in my home. There are still a few more PowWows in New Brunswick this summer. You can find a schedule here.
It was a very moving experience for me watching Ray as he entered into the dance. We look forward to attending many more Pow Wows in the future.