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A dancer from the 2014 Graduation Pow Wow

Celebrate graduating Indigenous students at the annual Pow Wow

April 27, 2015 — 

The 26th Annual Traditional Graduation Pow Wow is a community celebration to honour the success of Indigenous graduates of the University of Manitoba. The free event takes place on Saturday, May 2 and is open to everyone. Because of its open and inclusive nature, the Graduation Pow Wow is an excellent way to embrace Indigenous cultures and be part of a proud community that celebrates the success of these graduates.

“When I graduated from the U of M in 1999, attending the Pow Wow was a shining moment for me,” says Christine Cyr. “My family, my Elders, my classmates gathered to celebrate my accomplishments and my hard work. I was so proud to be counted as an Indigenous woman graduating from here.”

Cyr is now the director of the Aboriginal Student Centre. She’s says she is looking forward to this year’s ceremony.

26th Annual Graduation Pow Wow

“We always hope that the entire U of M community, the broader Manitoba community, and the families of all of the graduates will come out and help us honour the work and accomplishments of these students,” says Cyr.

She extends the invitation to those who have never seen or participated in a Pow Wow before to those who would like to experience the ceremony from the dancer’s perspective and pay tribute to the graduates in a very personal way.

“For anyone who has never attended a Pow Wow before, I would like to welcome you with open arms,” says Cyr. “If you’re really adventurous and keen to learn about the ceremony, come down to the dance floor and participate in an Intertribal Dance. And, of course, we invite everyone to celebrate with us at a Traditional Feast that takes place later in the day.”

What: 26th Annual Graduation Pow Wow
When: Saturday, May 2, 2015; 10:00 am traditional pipe ceremony;12:00 Grand Entry (graduates); 2:00 Honouring of the graduates; 5:00 feast in MPR, University Centre; 7:00 second Grand Entry
Where: Investors Group Athletic Facility, 75 Sidney Smith Street, Fort Garry Campus
All are welcome. Free Admission.

Pow Wows have cultural significance and are a traditional ceremonies where people come together to dance and sing in celebration of life and living. The Graduation Pow Wow includes drum groups from across Manitoba, as well as singers, dancers and Elders who are integral elements to these events.

If you choose to either watch or participate in this weekend’s Pow Wow here are some things to remember:

Pow Wow Protocol

  • Please pay attention to the Master of Ceremonies
  • The dance area is sacred. The Master of Ceremony/Emcee will invite the audience to the dance area during Intertribal Dance and Honour Songs.
  • The chairs inside are reserved for drum groups.
  • Please stand and remove your hats, during the grand entry, invocation, honour, memorial, flag, veterans and closing songs.
  • Please refrain from touching anyone’s regalia.
  • Pow wow is really about joining the circle. No one is ever out of place within the circle so relax and join in.

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