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Winnipeg School Division Celebrates Indigenous Culture and Community at 5th Annual Pow Wow

June 10, 2024
 Students proudly participated in dances such as Fancy, Grass, Jingle, Traditional and other styles, often dressed in pow wow regalia created either by family members or school staff.

The sounds of drumming and dancing filled the air at Tec Voc High School grounds on June 6th! The Winnipeg School Division (WSD) hosted the 5th annual Pow Wow celebration of Indigenous cultures. Students, teachers, and community members came together to honour the learning journey.  

The pow-wow kicked off with a Grand Entry, where esteemed guests, Principals, Vice Principals, Assistant Superintendents, Superintendent and dancers in colourful regalia proudly entered the pow-wow circle. Throughout the day, the sounds of drum groups kept the energy high as dancers of all ages showcased their traditional styles.


Beyond the performances, the Pow Wow Day also offered valuable opportunities for cultural learning. Knowledge-sharing sessions and teachings provided insights into Indigenous history, traditions, and ways of life. Students had the chance to share what they had learned at school and participate in interactive sessions, asking questions for a deeper understanding and appreciation of Indigenous cultures.


The Honour Song for Winnipeg School Division Graduates was a major highlight of the event. The heartfelt tribute acknowledged the outstanding accomplishments of WSD graduates and their families in programs like Build From Within, Medical Career Exploration, and others.


Another fun and engaging aspect of the Pow Wow was playing traditional Indigenous games like Biig Hoop, foxtails, screaming eagle and other inclusive games. Students and community members alike came together in a spirit of fun and friendly competition.

Students explored Metis Knowledge and the story of a girl called Echo through an interactive coding experience to pilot “A Girl Called Echo” before it was shared publicly on the LYNX website.  

At the Tec Voc theatre, Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers performed traditional dances of the Red River Metis Jig mixed with modern dancing known as hip hop jig. Kelly and Rylee Chinchilla performed the Fancy Shawl and hoop dance.   

Micheal Redhead Champagne read his book, ‘We Need Everyone’ to the students at the Prince Charles Education Resource Centre. Students also experienced interactive sky teaching in the mobile planetarium featuring Anishnaabe and Cree constellations and storytelling at the Tec Voc gym. 

A pair of Giant Indigenous Floor Maps were also placed in the Audrey Jones Fieldhouse gymnasium, and students walked on it as well as learned about important locations such as settlement reserves, sites of former residential schools, lakes and more without the typical provincial and territorial boundaries.

Thank you, Miigwetch, to all the organizers, volunteers, drum groups, dancers, Tec-Voc culinary arts and broadcasting students, teachers, staff members, educational assistants, bus drivers and community members for making this event a memorable and enriching experience.


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