Hundreds of people are gathering in Saskatoon this weekend for the annual Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations powwow.

People have been pouring into Credit Union Centre for the celebration. The festivities run throughout the weekend. 

It includes a singing competition, traditional dancing, the Miss FSIN princess pageant, and a tradeshow. 

Howie Thomson, a veteran powwow MC, said powwow made a big difference in his life, including helping him kick his addictions. 

"The grandfather said there is something there, on the table, that you should pick up for the people," Thomson said. "I didn't understand that for a long time. And here it was the microphone. The microphone was to make people laugh. The medicine of laughter."

Veterans belonging to the Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans' Associatoin are also honoured at the event. Dennis Hahenakew, a Navy veteran, said he spends his free time in schools telling to kids about the importance of education.

Hahenakew said it was promising to see youngsters experience cultural traditions at powwow.

"It's great to see young people here, instead of street kids," Hahenakew said. "There are a lot of street kids now. That is a big problem in Saskatoon."