Calgary Stampede Powwow shines in Saddledome for the first time

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‘This can be a competitors however there are additionally ceremonial facets to it; caring for our regalia and our feathers and the way we supply ourselves’

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The shine and jingle of Indigenous regalia stuffed the Saddledome on Tuesday for the primary Calgary Stampede Powwow within the venue.

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Whereas powwows have taken place on the Elbow River Camp since Man Weadick — the founding father of the Calgary Stampede — and the First Nations of Treaty 7 collaborated with Stampede occasions, this week’s occasion is the primary of its form within the Saddledome, with $175,000 in prize cash up for grabs.

Indigenous dancers and singers from throughout Canada and the USA are competing over three days.

“We at all times have competitors on the camp,” mentioned Cheryl Crowchief, the powwow co-ordinator. “We now have powwows as a celebration to ask non-Indigenous, non-native, folks to come back to have a good time with us, study from us, share our tradition and ask questions.”

Competitors take part in the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, featuring competitive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of other Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Rivals participate within the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, that includes aggressive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of different Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Dean Pilling/Postmedia Calgary

The competitors is damaged into a number of classes, together with girls’ jingle, girls’ conventional and girls’ fancy, males’s buckskin, males’s conventional, males’s grass dance and males’s hen.

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The powwow will finish with the boys’s hen as a result of the dance originated in Treaty 7 territory, the place Calgary — or Mohkinstsis — is positioned, mentioned Crowchief.

“In case you have a look at a prairie hen you see the actions that they make, and with the hen dance, you see them mimicking these actions. Each class has a narrative behind it. And be happy, once you’re at a Powwow, to ask them their story and the place they originate,” mentioned Crowchief.

Competitors take part in the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, featuring competitive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of other Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Rivals participate within the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, that includes aggressive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of different Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Dean Pilling/Postmedia Calgary

The Saddledome was glistening with vibrant regalia Tuesday afternoon because the competitors started. Crowchief mentioned the dancers take pleasure of their regalia and cherish the time put into the beadwork and design.

Cree dancers Raylene Hunter and her daughter, Ryley, who travelled from Treaty 6 territory to take part within the powwow, mentioned they’re thrilled to bounce on the Stampede.

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They and a number of other different members of the family had been serving to one another don their regalia earlier than the powwow began.

“I used to be dancing earlier than she was born,” Raylene mentioned. “I carried her whereas I danced so she was born to the circle, and earlier than she may stroll we had her regalia.”

Raylene mentioned they get pleasure from competing as a household and help one another throughout competitions.

“This can be a competitors however there are additionally ceremonial facets to it; caring for our regalia and our feathers and the way we supply ourselves,” she mentioned.

Competitors take part in the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, featuring competitive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of other Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Rivals participate within the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, that includes aggressive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of different Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Dean Pilling/Postmedia Calgary

The competitors’s judges had been chosen by two folks with in depth powwow data. Every dancer’s scores are tabulated and people on the prime of their classes will compete for the prize cash.

Crowchief mentioned she’s thrilled extra persons are capable of watch the powwow within the Saddledome.

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“Guests are getting the total powwow celebration impact. They get to really feel the way in which we really feel. First Nations folks, after we’re at a powwow, as soon as the drums, the grand entry and prayers begin, it’s completely mind-blowing and provides us such a cheerful feeling,” mentioned Crowchief.

“It offers us our energy.”

Competitors take part in the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, featuring competitive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of other Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Rivals participate within the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, that includes aggressive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of different Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Dean Pilling/Postmedia Calgary

Melodie Ayoungman, the top choose for the ladies’s classes, mentioned her household has a protracted historical past on the Stampede.

“My grandparents have been right here since 1912,” mentioned Ayoungman. “Individuals from throughout North America, Canada and the USA, come to powwows and that is . . . an enormous occasion and it’s actually nice for the folks of Calgary to witness.”

Entry to the Calgary Stampede Powwow is free with admission to Stampede Park and runs from 3 p.m. to six p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

The kids’s classes will nonetheless be run within the Elbow River Camp on Wednesday, Crowchief mentioned.

“I actually implore and invite everyone to come back over to the camp. Take pleasure in our festivities, get pleasure from our artisans and our conventional meals on the bannock sales space,” she mentioned.

Competitors take part in the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, featuring competitive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of other Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Rivals participate within the 2022 Calgary Stampede Powwow, that includes aggressive dancing, drumming, singing and a showcase of different Indigenous performances. Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Dean Pilling/Postmedia Calgary

sbabych@postmedia.com
Twitter: @BabychStephanie

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