Hundreds attend powwow in Conne River

Mi’kmaq from all over Canada and some from the United States were in Conne River to celebrate Indigenous heritage and culture.

23rd annual event hosted by Miawpukek First Nation

Miawpukek First Nation Chief Misel Joe (centre) looks on with Qalipu First Nation Chief Brendan Mitchell. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

Several hundred people were in Conne River Saturday afternoon for the grand entry of the powwow hosted by the Miawpukek First Nation.

This is 23rd year the First Nation has hosted this event on Newfoundland's south coast.

Many dancers at the powwow were in full regalia. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

Miawpukek First Nation Chief Misel Joe said the powwow has allowed people to be proud of their culture and has freed them from fear of church and government.

"People's not afraid anymore … our children will never know the fear that we went through, and that's what this [powwow] has done."

Todd Evans (front) says the powwow is an important way to instil traditions in younger people. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

Todd Evans is originally from central Newfoundland but has lived in Ottawa for the past 30 years. He said he's been coming to the powwow in Conne River for the past 10 years and plans his trips home around the event. 

Evans said the event brings people together to share Mi'kmaq traditions and keep them alive for future generations.

"Our previous generations were denied the opportunity to do this, for any number of reasons," he said.

"But powwow is an opportunity to meet old friends, there's people I only see at powwows that I've known for 10 years now."

The youngest dancer at the powwow was just four months old. (Angela Antle/Instagram)

Mi'kmaq from all over Canada and some from the United States were there to celebrate Indigenous heritage and culture.

Dancers were in full dress as drum circles and singers performed traditional songs.

Traditional songs were performed in drum circles at Saturday's powwow in Conne River. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

The three-day event will conclude Sunday evening.

The Bay St George Mi'kmaq Cultural Revival Committee will hold a powwow in Flat Bay next week.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador 

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly said that the Qalipu First Nation is organizing a powwow in Flat Bay. Our apologies for this inaccuracy.
    Jul 08, 2018 7:33 AM NT

With files from Fred Hutton