This weekend I attended the Eel Ground Natoageneg Pow Wow. A Pow Wow is a gathering organized by Indigenous people to showcase the drumming, the dancing and the regalia of the First Nation People. I had never been to a Pow Wow before and I was eager to see what was in store, and hopefully learn something new! I got there just in time for the grand entrance. I got to listen to the grand entry song and hear the prayer to bless the day which was read by one of the elders. I also got to watch the veteran dance, which is when all dancers dance to honour all veterans from all nations who fought in any war. One thing that I learned from listening to the emcee is that there are many types of dances. There is traditional, fancy, grass, jingle and more. The outfits worn by the dancers reflect this and are known as regalia. Regalia are very colourful and different based on the type of dance. Regalia are unique to each dancer, their culture and their family. I noticed that dancing is a big part of the Pow Wow. You can clearly see each dancer’s passion through their movements as they follow the beat of the drum.
I also took some time to check out the local artisans selling art, handmade products, and supplies. There were also food vendors where you can enjoy a variety of indigenous cuisine. I ended up buying a handmade dream catcher! While attending my first Pow Wow, I realized that they are an amazing gathering of both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people. Some people even come from out of town to attend. Another thing I learned about Pow Wows is to never think you can’t participate. If you want to join a dance, you definitely can! Just listen to the emcee and when they announce an Intertribal song, that means you can join in. Overall, my first Pow Wow was a success. Not only was I encouraged to participate, but I was welcomed with open arms.
This weekend was a weekend of firsts for me as I also attended the NHRA weekend at the Miramichi Dragway Park. It was a sunny day, which means it was a perfect day for racing. I’ll be completely honest, I know nothing about cars, or racing for that matter, so everything was very new to me. All of the racecars were very different and you could tell that each driver took the time to personalize them and make them unique. They were different colours, shapes, and sizes!
I helped out by selling the 50/50 tickets and by doing this I was able to interact with many people. I learned that race car driving is a dream as well as a hobby. The racers were of all ages, some being young kids! During breaks I took the time to watch some of the racers for myself. You could see the crave for speed as well as the determination and focus. Although I could never do it myself, I found it fascinating to watch the racers speed up and down the track. I had a great weekend going out and experiencing these things for the first time. If you’re thinking about attending a Pow Wow, I say go for it, you’ll learn new things and experience Indigenous culture. You can also check out the Dragway Park and put yourself in the shoes of a racecar driver! Trying new things is always fun and it is something we should not restrain ourselves from doing.