HOW TO HAVE YOUR FIRST POW WOW EXPERIENCE

Your first pow wow will be incredible, precious, awe-inspiring, and overwhelming, all at the same time. 

Something to keep in mind is that every pow wow is different and so we’re coming at this from the lens of our experience with Thrive Tours at the Garden River Pow Wow in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

LEARNING HOW TO POW WOW

The first part of your pow wow experience should be about education and understanding. With Thrive Tours, you’ll learn the history of the Indigenous people and common customs.

HONOURING THE SACRED FIRE

This is a ceremonial fire that’s lit before the start of the pow wow and burns continuously until its end. Its flame is tended to by one or several fire keepers.

Grand Entry is the opening ceremonies.This is performed every day. With the Master of Ceremonies MC-ing, you’ll experience the true heartbeat with their thunderous beat and range of singing.

GRAND ENTRY

DRUMMING

Pow wows typically have multiple drum groups and in our case, there were three – Bear Creek, Island Times, and First Nation. Each group takes its turn performing songs for the pow wow.

INTERTRIBAL DANCE

Right after Grand Entry and throughout the pow wow, the MC will announce the intertribal dance. This is where anyone from every background is invited to go into the circle and dance.

DANCING

There are various styles of dances that you’ll see – traditional, fancy, grass, and jingle. Each age group will get their turn to show off their skill and athleticism.

Next steps

More amazing travel inspiration in the blog post!