M’Chigeeng celebrates 30th annual Labour Day traditional powwow

Over 60 registered dancers took part in the powwow, whose theme this year was ‘Honouring our Four Elements, Earth, Fire, Water and Air.’

M’CHIGEENG—The community of M’Chigeeng First Nation celebrated its 30th annual Labour Day traditional powwow in fine fashion this past weekend.

The theme for the  powwow, which  drew over 60 registered dancers, in a variety of styles, was ‘Honouring Our Four Elements, Earth, Fire, Water and Air.’

The host drum was Black Bull Moose, with the co-host Good Time Ojibway, along with the M’Chigeeng Community Drum, and Spirit Bear. 

On Sunday, after the grand entry, M’Chigeeng Chief Linda Debassige thanked everyone for attending the powwow and acknowledged the families, visitors, drums and volunteers that helped put the powwow together. “I would like to thank our master of ceremonies, Paul Owl, along with co-master of ceremonies Chris Pheasant,” said Chief Debassige.

“It is just so nice to see members of the M’Chigeeng community come out for this event; visitors families and friends,” said Chief Debassige. She encouraged everyone to visit the many vendors on hand, to try out the many foods on hand-have a great day and to smile.

Marilyn Debassige provided the invocation on Sunday, first in Anishinabek and then in English. “My leaders have always taught to me speak as much as I can in our language, so that is what I have been doing, and honouring our language and life.”

“We need to send prayers to all those people who are suffering, in pain, anyone who is in hospitals, and those in nursing homes,” said Ms. Debassige. “And for the Creator to smile down on all these people and everyone here; to suppress any turmoil in our community and the people who have travelled far to be here.”

“Have a wonderful, wonderful day,” added Ms. Debassige.

The head female dancer for the powwow was Celina Cada –Matasawagon, while the head male dancer was her husband Dale Matasawagon. The head elder was Marilyn Debassige, while the head veteran was Howard Debassige.

As part of the grand opening the eagle staffs were presented. They included Raymond Corbiere with the Wikwemikong Eagle Staff, Geordan Lewis with the Wikwemikong High School Eagle Staff, Pierre Debassige with the M’Chigeeng Youth Eagle staff and Jessie Beaudin with the M’Chigeeng Eagle staff, UCCM Police Eagle Staff presented by Victor Pitawanakwat, and Noah Hare presenting the M’Chigeeng Community Youth Staff, M’Chigeeng Community Staff presented by Dave Migwans, the M’Chigeeng Community Flag Linda Debassige, Veterans Flag presented by Howard Corbiere, and the Prisoner of War Missing In Action Flag presented by Luke Naokegijig.