A round dance to celebrate International Women's Day
Members of Chippewas of the Thames First Nation honoured women through a round dance and feast
Chippewas of the Thames First Nation marked International Women's Day with a round dance and feast last night.
The event honoured the nation's relationship with women, which stems from a relationship with Mother Earth, explained Dawn-Estelle Miskokomon.
"Everything that we know and everything we understand comes from our teachings with creation from our natural world," said Miskokomon.
Although it was a night to honour women, the proceedings also offered an opportunity to honour the respectful relationship between men and women, she said.
"As we gather around in a circle and song with our men, they honour our women in song to show them their pride and the utmost respect they have for them," she said.
The evening was also an opportunity to showcase handcrafted dolls that were created by some of the women in the weeks leading up to the event.
CBC spoke with some of those who participated about what their dolls meant to them.
Andrea Young's doll wears a red dress to honour Canada's missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
"I named her 'Justice,' because everything reflects back to justice," said Young.
The jingles on her doll represent healing, she said.
"It's for healing society," she said.
"When you wear your dress, you go out, you dance and heal and you pray for others."
Lena Weekes' doll also wears a jingle dress to symbolize healing.
It also has another meaning.
Weekes said the doll is a reflection of herself, and that ultimately, she wants to make her own jingle dress.
"My hope is to do a jingle dress for myself," she said. "So that's my start."
Brenda Ireland created a fancy shawl dance doll, in honour of her favourite powwow dance.
"There was one dancer in particular that had butterflies on her shawl and everything, and I was so mesmerized by her footwork where it almost seemed like she was floating because she was so graceful in her dancing," said Ireland.
"That's what I enjoy, I love watching all the fancy shawl dancers. All of them, they're all awesome no matter what and that's what my doll was about."