WHITEFISH RIVER FIRST NATION — Whitefish River First Nation (WFRN) held its Wawaskinga annual traditional powwow last weekend at Sunshine Alley.
It was a beautiful weekend and the powwow brought out many dancers and spectators both locally and from afar.
There were a total of 50 dancers including 11 tiny tot dancers, 14 junior dancers, 19 adult dancers and six golden age dancers.
Host drum Ganabjiing Jrs. were the heartbeat of the powwow, along with co-hosts Young Biisinai and High Eagle from Wikwemikong.
Master of ceremony Dan Fox provided running commentary throughout the weekend and shared traditional powwow knowledge and information about the area with visitors.
The arena director was Greg Sutherland, while head veteran was Lorne Corpus and head elder was George Francis.
The head dancers included Chop Wendabence and Jenny Elinsky and head youth dancers, Matthew Oshk and Destinee Kaboni.
The grand entry was led by WFRN Chief Shining Turtle carrying the veterans eagle staff and Eli carrying the Shawanosowe flag. The staff carriers were Loren Corpus with the US Marines staff, Rebecca Corpus with the Yakama Warriors staff, Shane Finnigan with the spirit staff for cancer, Gregor Jacko with the Lil’ NHL Eagle staff and Bill Antonie with the Zhiibaahaasing Eagle staff.
A crowd favourite was the Miss Wawaskinaga princess pageant. Several girls competed in each category and were judged through interviews and dancing.
Soleil Pitawanakwat was crowned Little Miss Wawaskinaga, joined by this year’s Junior Miss Wawaskinaga Raven Shawanda and Miss Wawaskinaga Brynn Trudeau.
During the shawl collection, funds were collected for the water walkers who had stopped in the community earlier this week on their journey across Canada and the US, ending in Madeline Island in Wisconsin.