Dancers showed off their colourful regalia throughout the three days of pow wow action to the beat of the drums and singing by groups that travelled from far and wide to be part of the annual event.

Dancers showed off their colourful regalia throughout the three days of pow wow action to the beat of the drums and singing by groups that travelled from far and wide to be part of the annual event.

Thousands head to Samson nation`s weekend pow wow

ast weekend`s pow wow at Bear Park, hosted by the Samson Cree Nation, was a time for healing and welcoming.

Last weekend`s pow wow at Bear Park, hosted by the Samson Cree Nation, was a time for healing and welcoming.

Chairperson of the pow wow Holly Johnson-Rattlesnake said the weekend is considered a sacred ceremony and because of that, she says there is a zero-tolerance on alcohol and drug use at the pow wow. “It’s a healing ceremony.”

The weekend was full of the chanting and pounding of the drums from the 14 drum groups that attended and dancers of all ages were proud to be part of the event.

In an effort to involve everyone in the community, individuals who were known to have gang affiliations were allowed to take part and help out. Johnson-Rattlesnake said the theme of the pow wow was “Warriors.”

Organizers took a pragmatic approach and let them be involved. “We’ve given our warriors the benefit of the doubt.”

There were 400 adult entries and 200 tiny tots entries over the course of the weekend and people travelled from as far as Arizona, Washington State, Michigan and Wales to watch the dancers and drum circles.

Johnson-Rattlesnake says they had dancers from New Mexico as well and the park was full to the brim with attendees and dancers.

“We had people lined up a kilometre long waiting to get into the grand entry,” she stated.

The weekend also hosted a rodeo, a golf tournament, a hand games competition and five and 10 kilometre runs. Johnson-Rattlesnake is grateful for everyone’s support including those from the sponsors.

“A heartfelt thanks to everyone that came out to the celebration,” she concluded.