Quebec’s largest pow-wow returns to Kahnawake, brings thousands together – Montreal | Globalnews.ca

The Echoes of a Proud Nation pow-wow returned to Kahnawake over the weekend.

It’s the biggest pow-wow in Quebec and brings in thousands of people from many different regions. It was first held in 1991, a year after the Oka crisis, the infamous stand-off between Mohawk protestors and the Canadian military.

The event has been held every year since and serves to bring people together from all the surrounding areas to rebuild relationships.

Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:ke, Sky Deer said it’s important for those not living in the community to come and learn about the Indigenous people.

“All of the land around us is still our land and if they are going to be living on our land, it’s important that they know about our people, our culture, our ways” she said.

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The pow-wow is a major tourism draw for the area and normally brings in about 8,000 people every year.

“It’s an event that many of us in the community look forward to, we get to see a lot of faces that we haven’t seen,” added Deer.

Spectators can enjoy lots of traditional dancing, including a competition, singing and costumes but they can also try different types of food, shop at a variety of  booths and speak to people in the community.

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The highlight of the event is the grand entry parade of dancers but for many of those in the Kahnawá:ke the pow-wow is about pride.

“They say every day is a proud day to be Indigenous but there is just something about the pow-wow that brings it out even more,” said Deer.

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