by Sandi Kuntsi
With the warm weather comes the busy springtime. Thursday, April 27 was the MSS Annual Pow Wow. The day started with a Mini-Career Fair, in which many local First Nations guests showcased their careers and organizations in the cafeteria. The event was facilitated by Shan Keatley, Michelle Jones and the Careers classes. Guests shared expertise in a range of career pathways: traditional healing, regalia design, trapping, social work, health sciences, education, filmmaking, catering and many others. The participants of the Career Fair then found their way over to the Pow Wow. The theme for this year’s event was Water is Life, coordinated and organized by Ms. McGraw with help from many student volunteers.
At lunch, there was a taco sale in the Three Fires room to get students and staff in the powwow mood. The Master of Ceremonies was Paul Owl, who brought humor and energy to the event. Several school groups participated in the Grand Entry: Students’ Council, Rainbow Rights, and SHARE/Go Green, joined dancers, eagle staff carriers, flag carriers, and drum groups from Lakeview Public School, Wasse-Abin Pontiac School, Wasse-Abin Wikwemikong High School, Manitoulin Secondary School, and many guests from near and far. The head dancers were Pierre Debassige and Aiyana Nahwegahbow, both Grade 10 students at MSS. After an opening prayer from Trustee and Elder Grace Fox, Mr. Mohamed gave a warm welcome to all those gathered for the afternoon. Autumn Peltier, a student at Wasse-Abin Pontiac School and International Water Advocate, sang the opening water song. Throughout the powwow, there were several spot dances to win $5-10, and many intertribal dances that encouraged students who were not in regalia to participate. There was a giveaway for community elders, volunteers, and dancers to thank them for participating in the very successful powwow.
Grade 12 student volunteer Megan Misner said, “I think the event went extremely well. Mrs. McGraw organized an incredible powwow. The theme Water is Life was so important because water is something most people take for granted. Without water we have nothing. We need water for the food we eat, the oxygen we breathe, the materials we build with and to grow the trees we burn for warmth. We wouldn’t even have all the beautiful plants and animals we get to see every day if it wasn’t for water. Every aspect of our lives on this earth revolve around water. My favourite part of the powwow was grand entry. Though we were rushing last minute to make sure it was perfect in my opinion, it was the best grand entry we have had in a long time. It’s always an amazing experience when all our communities get together.”
The MSS Senior Band and Vocal Choir went on their Montreal trip from April 22- 25. The group left the high school on Saturday morning for the 10-hour drive. Upon arriving in Montreal, the group went to Laserquest and played laser tag for three hours. On Sunday morning the group visited the Planetarium and Biodome. Sunday evening, they went to see the Cirque Du Soleil and went out for dinner at the Chalet-BBQ. Monday was a busy day, as the group went to Mont Royal, went on a shopping trip at the Eaton Center, and visited the Notre-Dame Basilica. Monday evening the group went to see the musical “Million Dollar Quartet,” a jukebox musical that shows the audience the famed recording session that brought together rock and roll legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry-Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. On Tuesday the group boarded the bus for a long but energetic ride home to the Island.
Grade 11 band member Megan Moore said, “The whole trip was fabulous, but my favourite part was the Cirque Du Soleil. They did some stunts that would take a lot of practice to do like jumping through rings that were 6 feet in the air and doing other bike stunts.”
Grade 11 choir member, Milana Sabzali, said, “My favourite part was the Planetarium show we watched called “We are all Stars.” It was a really cool dome theater with bean bags in the middle and it was actually really interesting to learn about the universe from the show. The trip all together was amazing. It was the best band trip I’ve been on so far, and I wish it could have been longer.”
The SHARE/ Go Green committee is holding a coffee house to raise money for Kenya and the Somalia famine relief. There will be local entertainment from around Manitoulin. The coffee house is in the MSS library on Thursday, May 4 from 6:30-8:30 pm.
The weather is getting warmer, and MSS is getting busier. ‘Til next time, stay golden, Mustangs.