Annual Traditional Graduation Pow Wow celebrates Indigenous graduates
Join us for this special event on May 6
The Annual Traditional Graduation Pow Wow, a celebration of culture and achievement, will be hosted on campus on Saturday, May 6.
One of the largest indoor pow wows in the province, this annual celebration is a way for UM staff, students and faculty to connect with the next generation of Indigenous leaders.
This year’s event – the 34th annual – will take place on May 6 at the Investors Group Athletic Centre on UM’s Fort Garry campus.
“We are excited to once again bring community together to recognize the academic achievements of our graduates while celebrating our culture,” says Carla Loewen, chair of the pow wow planning committee. “We look forward to this special day where everyone is welcome.”
All Indigenous graduates (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) are encouraged to participate in the Annual Traditional Graduation Pow Wow.
Other University of Manitoba students, graduates, alumni and community members are invited to attend and show their support for the achievements of this year’s Indigenous graduating class. The event is free for all.
9:45 a.m. – Pipe Ceremony
12:00 p.m. – Grand Entry
1:30 p.m. – Honouring the Graduates
3:30 p.m. – Feast
4:30 p.m. – Intertribal and Category Dancing
7:00 p.m. – Closing Prayer
POW WOW 101 / FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A POW WOW?
Pow Wows are a traditional ceremony where people come together to dance and sing in celebration of life and the living. It is a time for communities to gather to visit, dance, sing and celebrate culture and each other.
WHO CAN ATTEND?
Everyone is welcome to attend!
IS THERE AN ADMISSION FEE?
No, admission is free.
ARE MASKS REQUIRED?
Please refer to UM’s Covid-19 website for up-to-date information on COVID-19 protocols.
IS THERE A DRESS CODE?
There is no dress code for audience members; however, please dress modestly. For example, don’t wear a t-shirt with curse words on it. You’ll probably want to wear comfortable footwear. If you are wearing a hat, please remove it during the Grand Entry, Invocation, Honour, Memorial, Flag, Veterans and Closing Songs.
THIS IS MY FIRST POW WOW. DO I HAVE TO SIGN UP? WHEN I ARRIVE, WHERE DO I GO?
Welcome to your first pow wow! No sign-up or registration is required – you can just show up. All guests and visitors are asked to enter the pow wow via the third-floor entrance. When you come in through the main entrance, take the stairs directly in front of you. If you need an elevator, there is one located to the left of the stairs. Once you enter the pow wow, you can sit anywhere in the stands/bleachers.
WHO ARE THE KEY PEOPLE AT POW WOWS?
The arena director is responsible for coordinating the dancers, drum groups and special guests who take part in special events and ceremonies at the pow wow.
The master of ceremony (or emcee) is responsible for announcing the events and guiding the pow wow. He/she keeps the order of the drum groups, explains the dances and protocols, tells jokes and announces events.
And of course, UM’s Annual Traditional Graduation Pow Wow exists to honour the Indigenous graduates. Please help us congratulate them on their successes and wish them well.
We also have many volunteers who can help answer questions.
WHAT IS A GRAND ENTRY?
A Grand Entry signals the official beginning of the pow wow. It’s the time for the people involved to line up for a procession that brings them into the pow wow arena. It is lead by the Eagle Feather Staff, which, for many people, is a national symbol and flag. This Staff leads all other staffs and flags in the Grand Entry. The Eagle Staff is followed by flags (usually carried by Veterans), honoured guests, Princesses, pow wow organizers, dancers and graduates.
Please stand during the Grand Entry.
I’VE BEEN INVITED TO BE IN THE GRAND ENTRY. WHERE DO I GO?
When you arrive, please go to the VIP registration table beside the stage to sign in and get your nametag. Volunteers will show you where to line up.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF DANCES?
At Graduation Pow Wow, you will see Fancy Feather and Shawl, Traditional Cloth and Buckskin, Jingle Dress and Grass dancing.
THE REGALIA ARE BEAUTIFUL. AM I ALLOWED TO TOUCH?
No. Please do not touch anyone’s regalia. Please also refrain from touching other people’s hair/braids. These are all sacred and personal.
IT SAYS THE POW WOW IS AN ALL-DAY EVENT. AM I ALLOWED TO COME FOR JUST PART OF THE DAY?
Yes. You are welcome to come and go at any time during the day. Please check the schedule to be sure you are present for the specific parts of the days that are important to you.
HOW DO I GET TO THE FEAST?
The feast is taking place inside Investors Group Athletic Centre on the floor beside the stage. Please allow for Elders to be served first.
IS THERE A SCHEDULE?
Yes, please refer to the program or visit the website for the schedule of the day. Please note that while we try to stick to the schedule, unexpected things may come up. For example, if an Eagle Feather falls on the floor, all activity stops and there is a specific ceremony to “raise the Feather” that may take some time.
CAN I TAKE PICTURES?
Yes. However, do not take pictures during prayers or when the master of ceremonies has said not to. If you are taking pictures of dancers in regalia, it is always good to ask first.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER RULES I SHOULD BE AWARE OF?
There is no drinking or drug use allowed. Please remember that the dance area is sacred, so refrain from swearing and other negative behaviour.
Selling crafts in the stands is prohibited.
The chairs on the main floor are reserved for singers and dancers.
Please help us keep the ceremony building clean. Put all garbage, compost and recycling in the appropriate bins.
*Please be advised that there will be photos and videos taken during this event.