Singing and drum groups from around Maskwacis and Alberta descended on Maskwacis to ensure dancers had the right songs to show off their skills to.

Singing and drum groups from around Maskwacis and Alberta descended on Maskwacis to ensure dancers had the right songs to show off their skills to.

Ermineskin Cree Nation’s traditional pow wow brings people together

The traditional pow wow is a break from the norm with today’s competitive pow wow events

Ermineskin Cree Nation’s traditional pow wow this year was a break from the norm.

The nation hosted the pow wow last weekend at Bear Park in Maskwacis bringing people together just for the love of dancing and celebration.

Organizer Jerry Roasting was pleased the nation could bring this type of pow wow to Maskwacis and while there were not as many attendees, those who were there, were able to get a bigger piece of the prize money. Typically a competitive pow wow brings larger prizes to the top singers and dancers.

This year’s pow wow will split the money equally with everyone involved. “Everybody’s going to get a piece of the pie,” said Roasting.

“We’re trying to go back to the old way and be humble.”

“The past few years there are only a handful of people that took the money home,” Roasting explained of the competitive pow wows.

It was also an opportunity to invite people to heal themselves. Roasting says dances are a form of healing for people.

“Back in the day we used to have traditional pow wows like this,” he said, adding he feels the more competitive pow wows sometimes take away from the healing purpose of the pow wow.

“People (in the past) gathered and sang and danced just to be happy.”

Roasting says the competitive pow wows sometimes will forget about the more traditional singers and dancers.

Friday night’s dancing saw a brilliant light display during the sunset with bright yellows and then reds just before the sun disappeared over the horizon.

First Nations

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Getting into the spirit of pow wow are these young dancers July 7 at Bear Park in Maskwacis during the Ermineskin traditional pow wow.

Getting into the spirit of pow wow are these young dancers July 7 at Bear Park in Maskwacis during the Ermineskin traditional pow wow.

This dancer’s regalia is full of intricate details on their head piece during the afternoon edition of the July 7 grand entry. Some regalia has a more modern twist while others can be traditional.

This dancer’s regalia is full of intricate details on their head piece during the afternoon edition of the July 7 grand entry. Some regalia has a more modern twist while others can be traditional.

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