Sheguiandah 33rd Annual Jiingtamok commemorated beloved elder

Dancers make their way around the arena during an intertribal. photo by Alicia McCutcheon

SHEGUIANDAH FIRST NATION—Marking the end of the summer powwow trail on Manitoulin, the Sheguiandah First Nation Jiingtamok (Powwow) was held last weekend, a change from its usual first weekend in July. Fall was not in the air for the much-loved event, though, as daytime highs reached 30°C with the humidex. The ever-present Sheguiandah Bay breeze was welcomed by the dancers who graced the grounds.

Once the grounds were blessed by young grass dancers, grey skies cleared and the sun shone brightly on the arbour as the grand entry song ushered in the eagle staff carriers, veterans and many, many dancers through the eastern doorway.

This year powwowgoers would have noted a change to the arbour. A large section of the stands near the eastern doorway was missing. It was explained that the missing section was symbolic of another missing portion of the powwow—Gord Waindubence baa, who passed onto the spirit world last November. The popular traditional powwow was started by Mr. Waindubence and his wife Pearl and so the dancers were asked to keep Mr. Waindubence in their minds as they danced this year.

Welcoming remarks were offered by Chief Elvis Mishibinijima and Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare also offered remarks, as well as carrying the Chiefs of Ontario eagle staff.

A tiny tots special was held on Saturday with a blanket laid out in front of the announcer’s booth with gifts of toys and a crisp $5 bill for the little dancers—zooniyah for a scone dog or tasty lemonade.

A spectacular fireworks display lit up the night sky on Saturday over Sheguiandah Bay. The hoots and hollers of appreciation could be heard echoing from all sides of the bay.

The Sheguiandah Powwow grounds will be busy again this week as the community hosts the gathering of the eagle staffs from communities across Turtle Island.