GALLERY: 28th Annual Traditional Graduation Pow Wow
This year, over 430 self-declared Indigenous students – the largest cohort ever – will graduate from the University of Manitoba. The accomplishments of these students, who completed degrees, diplomas and certificates from all faculties, were celebrated at the 28th Annual Traditional Graduation Pow Wow on May 6.
The celebration began with a Pipe Ceremony at 10 a.m. and was followed by invigorating performances, including music by fiddler Darren Lavallee, also known as the Marvelous Métis.
At noon, the first Grand Entry of the day entered Investors Group Athletic Centre. The Grand Entry is a procession of graduands, Indigenous dancers, community flags, Indigenous veterans and dignitaries from both the campus and wider community.
After the Grand Entry, the powerful sound of drums filled the room as 280 Indigenous dancers in full regalia danced in one of Manitoba’s largest Pow Wows. Over 80 drum circles and Indigenous singers from throughout Manitoba and some from Saskatchewan, came to honour this year’s graduates.
For the fourth year, Indigenous students were gifted special scarves as part of the Graduation Pow Wow. Each scarf features a feather, Inukshuk and Métis flag, representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities that make up the Indigenous population at the U of M. The scarves were approved as official academic dress last year and Indigenous students are encouraged to wear these scarves during university-wide convocation ceremonies.
Following the ceremony, students, family and their friends were also treated to a feast. A second Grand Entry also took place later in the evening.