The 31st annual Three Fires Homecoming Powwow and Traditional Gathering was not only a full success, but an opportunity to re-connect and experience the spirit of the gathering.
On the weekend of August 25 to 27, 2017 the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations held their 31st annual ‘Three Fires Homecoming Powwow and Traditional Gathering’ at the New Credit Cultural Centre at the corner of Mississauga Rd. and New Credit Rd., Hagersville, Ont.
The event was well-visited by natives and non-natives and visitors who learned so much about the native traditions and enjoyed the many native craft and food vendors.
The cultural committee, lead by Carolyn King, organized this most important event many weeks in advance and ran it with the help of many active and enthusiastic volunteers.
The Powwow started with a fantastic free concert showcasing great native music talent on Friday the 25th.
Mark Laforme was first up and he warmed up the crowd with his well-known country style music. After that were Sam LaForme, Big Johnny Blue with guest guitarist Wayne Janus, then Red LaForme had the stage. Fourth was Dwayne LaForme and the Boggy Blues Band and Cec Sault and the Old Chicago Style had the closing performance. The music was diversified from Blues over Country to Rock and the crowd was lively and cheerful.
Saturday the Powwow officially opened with the Grand Entry and the dancing and celebration went far into the evening.
Sunday opened again with the Grand Entrance. Besides many Native Dignitaries, Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell was attending the event as special guest. She arrived at about 12:30 p.m., greeted and accompanied by New Credit Chief Stacey LaForme and Lauren King, and was invited to be part of the Grand Opening.
Also present were Hon. Michael Chan, the minister of international trade, who I had the chance to talk to, and the Hon. Kathleen McGarry, minister of natural resources and forestry.
I also met Provincial Liberal Candidate for Brant Ruby Toor.
The Grand Entry was led by head veteran Garry Sault from the Mississaugas of the New Credit
First Nations who carried the eagle staff followed by the Flag carriers and the head dancers and all other dancers.
Bob Goulais from Nipissing First Nations was the MC who lead and commented the ceremony in a very experienced and sovereign manner and Arena Manager Mark Barrowcliffe from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations had the arena fully under control.