The Power of Family Memories

This is part of a series of articles on Indigenous issues and history to promote awareness of our shared history among the general population.

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by Lisa Osawamick

Pow wows are a special type of gathering that bring all of us together to share time, laughter, stories, songs, and dances. There is so much to look forward to when you know you are travelling to a pow wow; craft vendors with the baddest beaded bling, the best Indian Tacos and corn soup to feast on! But most important is making the best pow wow memories with the people you love. This picture represents love, happiness and pride. Welcoming my partner Niigaan Batoo into the dancing circle with his first-ever regalia and first time dancing Men’s Woodland.

L-R: Martina Osawamick, Lisa Osawamick, and Craig Lecuyer from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. \
– Photo supplied

It was an amazing process to watch this beautiful Woodland regalia come together! My sister Aileen Fox Plant worked at the sewing and putting it all together—working tirelessly for two weeks straight! It eventually became a team effort at one point where all of us helped out with tracing and cutting the floral patterns for the appliqué! Other pieces of his regalia came from his nephew Nimkii, his late father Adolphus-baa, and the odds and ends from my mother Martina and me.

The war bonnet he is wearing was also worn by my late stepdad, Ronald-baa. My mother was more than happy to loan it to him as it is meaningful to her, which further made this day extra special. It also sweetened the moment when we got to see Niigaan Batoo dance with it on in the pow wow circle.

Pow wows are not only a gathering but can play such an important role in our very own healing journey. When we are welcomed into the pow wow circle, we feel included— we have a sense of belonging, pride, confidence, healthy living and healthy relationships, and feeling grounded. The smiles on our faces is a testament to exactly this.

We are so very grateful for this pow wow memory and that we were able to attend a handful of pow wows in the summer 2021!  When we needed it most, we look forward to dancing and travelling together in 2022!

Chi-miigwech!

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