Zhiibaahaasing First Nation welcomes everyone home for powwow

Head male and female dancers were Craig Fox and Gwemin Fox. Austin and Chelsey Antoine were the junior head dancers.

ZHIIBAAHAASING—The Zhiibaahaasing First Nation pow-wow certainly had a feeling of being welcomed home again, meeting up with family and friends in a celebration.

“It’s a beautiful….beautiful day,” stated Ogimaa-kwe Irene Kells on Saturday as she welcomed everyone to the 26th annual pow-wow in the community. Welcome everyone, it is so nice to see everyone again at the powwow in our community.”

“It is nice to see the pow-wow has come back to life,” continued Ogimaa-kwe Kells. She noted the pow-wow was held last year, but was scaled back to a one-day event with just family and friends on hand due to the pandemic.

“It’s great to see everyone dancing and smiling,” said Ogimaa-kwe Kells. “I was listening to elder Raymond Jackson from Wiikwemkoong speaking a few minutes ago (when he delivered the prayer at the grand opening ceremonies). “He said we have already been given the gifts in our language and he is so right.”

“He talked about the gifts that we already have, and all we need to do is to continue to use them,” continued Ogimaa-kwe Kells. “We are rich, all our homes and are community is surrounded by cedar trees.”

Ogimaa-Kwe Kells told the large gathering that she recently visited Birch Island and Killarney. “It was so beautiful to see all their houses surrounded by trees, like it is here, not like big cities. We are rich. Everything is here that we need.”

The host drum for the two-day pow-wow was Black Bull Moose, with Red River being the co-host drum, along with Chigeezus drum group.

“My thanks goes out to the drums who came out to share the songs and providing the music so we are able to dance again,” stated Ogimaa-kwe Kells. “Continue to enjoy, all its events. Have a good day.”

Head elder male and female dancers included Raymond Jackson and Ogimaa-kwe Chief Irene Kells. Head veteran was Bill Antoine, while the head dancers included Craig Fox and Gmewin Fox. Austin and Chelsey Antoine were the junior head dancers.

Among the events that took place during the weekend was a Saturday feast, on site camping, a fish fry held Friday night for dancers and drums as well as breakfast both Saturday and Sunday. Fireworks were held at dusk Saturday night.

And in the spirit of the event, the weather was beautiful all weekend, hot and sunny, appropriate for the theme of this year’s  pow-wow ‘Welcoming You Back Home.’