Sounds of singing voices, beating drums, dancing feet and jingling regalia filled the recreation centre at the Conestoga Pow Wow.
Pow Wows are sacred ceremonies for Indigenous people from different tribal nations to dance, socialize, feast, and celebrate Indigenous culture.
Non-Indigenous people are welcome and encouraged to attend Pow Wows, and are invited to join in during inter-tribal dances.
Hundreds showed up to the Pow Wow on Feb. 25, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous community, college students, and the school mascot, Cliffy Condor.
It was Conestoga’s 13th annual Pow Wow, organized by Be-Dah-Bin Gamik, or Place of New Beginning – Indigenous Services at Conestoga College.
This was the first fully in-person Conestoga Pow Wow since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year drummers and dancers gathered in person while attendees tuned in virtually.
The year before, drummers, dancers, hosts and participants joined virtually from their own homes.
Organizers said the “songs and knowledge” drummers and singers brought to the Pow Wow “are vital to the health of our community and preservation of our languages and culture.”