August long weekend saw many come together to celebrate on the grounds of the Bear Claw Casino. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th of August saw people gather to celebrate First Nations culture. The Summer Celebrations Pow Wow held by the White Bear First Nations was extremely successful in showcasing an array of impressive dancers and drummers.
The free event boasted great competition and entertainment for the whole family. Many young children were dancing on the sidelines as the drummers played. The event was enjoyed by a great variety of people from all walks of life taking in the unique atmosphere of the Pow Wow.
There were concession stands serving a variety of tasty treats throughout the day including everything from bannock burgers to candy apples.
The Pow Wow featured dancers from across Canada and the United States. Registration for the competition was held Friday evening before the Grand Entry at 8 p.m. Overall there were 240 dancers that entered into the dance portion of the competition. Also entered were nine competing drum groups and four non-competitive groups vying for $25,000 in prizes.
Over the weekend dancers entered and competed in their category dance. These categories included menís Fancy, Grass, Traditional, and Chicken, as well as womenís Fancy, Traditional, and Jingle. In addition to their style they also participated in Grand Entries and Inter Tribals. Receiving points for each dance they are judged on timing, footwork, their regalia, and overall presentation of their performances.
Thousands of dollars worth of prizes were handed out for the many dancers who attended the Pow Wow. Golden Age dancers, Senior and Junior Adults, Teens, Juniors, and Tiny Tots were all welcome to enter.
The Bear Claw Casino sponsored two Committee Specials held outside the regular scoring of the points system for the overall competition. One was for Menís Fancy, while the other as for Ladies Jingle. With $2,500 in poker chips for each category the top dancers entered drew poker chips and took home the drawn value.
It was a weekend that boasted phenomenal skill and prowess both in dancing and drumming. It was a feast for the eyes and ears, with many enjoying the performances showcased over the weekend.