Singing, dancing, drumming and a chance to gather will be at the heart of a Pow Wow set to welcome hundreds of people to Brock University’s main campus this week. Hosted by Brock’s Hadiya’dagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre, along with the Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement, the free public gathering, which is open to everyone, will take place Friday, Jan. 19 from noon to 6 p.m. in the University’s Ian Beddis Gymnasium.
After the grand entry at noon, Brock’s event will feature the presentation of an Eagle Staff — a sacred symbol that represents traditional Indigenous culture — as well as traditional dances and songs led by the Master of Ceremonies, who will guide everyone through the event. Volunteers, wearing bright pink shirts, will be on site to answer any questions.
Guests are reminded to not touch the drums, regalia and feathers that dancers and some participants may be wearing. Certain dances will be exclusive to specific songs, and the Master of Ceremonies will make clear when everyone is invited to participate in dances and other activities.
Hadiya’dagénhahs Event Co-ordinator Willow Shawanoo-Kechego said the Pow Wow is a community-driven way to connect with and discover Indigenous cultures and ways of knowing.
Among those who will be taking part is Head Dancer Kendra Jessie Rosychuk (BSM ’21), a Brock alumna, social media content creator, fitness instructor and wellness advocate, who will be taking part in her Fancy Shawl Dance style.
Friday’s event will also include a vendor fair of Indigenous entrepreneurs and a Social hosted by Niagara College, also in Brock’s Ian Beddis Gymnasium, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Participants from as far as Oklahoma, South Dakota and Nunavut are among the hundreds of people expected to pack the gym for the event