National Aboriginal Day on June 21 is probably the highlight, but it’s far from the only celebration of Indigenous culture and community that’s happening in Saskatchewan this summer. Hopefully the weather cooperates for all the outdoor events, and everyone has a great time.
National Aboriginal Day – June 21
Rock Your Roots Victoria Park, otc.ca. Held as part of National Aboriginal Day, this reconciliation walk begins with a pipe ceremony at 7:30 a.m., and includes lunch and live entertainment.
NAD Celebration Wanuskewin Heritage Park, wanuskewin.com. Opens with a pipe ceremony at 8 a.m., followed by powwow dance performances, bead, birch bark biting and other art/craft displays, and children’s activities until 4 p.m. Free admission.
Immemorial Freda Ahenakew Library, saskatoonlibrary.ca. Written and performed by Curtis Peeteetuce, this play explores the passage of time through the eyes of an Indigenous man. Starts at 6 p.m.
Aboriginal Theatre Program McNally Robinson, mcnallyrobinson.com. Excerpt from Wanita Bird’s play As the Teepee Turns and the Bannock Burns followed by a Q&A with Bird, director Carol Greyeyes and actor Darwin Gardypie. Starts at 7 p.m.
Sakimay First Nation Powwow Grenfell, June 16–18, 306-697-2831. Powwow season kicks into gear with this annual celebration of music and dance.
Shared Land Celebration Herschel, June 17–18, ancientechoes.ca. Hosted by Ancient Echoes Interpretive Centre, this multicultural gathering will explore topics such as Doctrine of Discovery, Treaties, Métis Story and Truth and Reconciliation.
Canadian Pro Chuckwagon Races Onion Lake First Nation, June 29–July 2, cpcaracing.com. Races are on a five-eighth mile track with a covered grandstand. At stake is some serious prize money.
Gordon First Nation Powwow Punnichy, June 30–July 2, georgegordonfirstnation.com.
Muskeg Lake Veteran’s Memorial Powwow Blaine Lake, June 30–July 2, muskeglake.com
Red Pheasant Cree Nation Powwow North Battleford, July 4–6, batc.ca/red_pheasant/
James Smith Cree Nation Powwow Fort a la Corne, July 7–9, jamessmithcreenation.com
Louis Riel Relay & Kidfest Batoche National Historic Site, July 8, pc.gc.ca/batoche. Selected by Louis Riel as the site of a provisional government in the 1885 Northwest Resistance/Rebellion, Batoche was also where the last battle occurred. Visitors can learn more about that troubled time through costumed guides, tours and special exhibits. This event includes recreational and competitive relays, archery and canoe lessons, a petting zoo and saskatoon pie-eating contest. 306-423-6227.
One Arrow First Nation Powwow Bellevue, July 14–16, 306-423-5900.
Onion Lake Cree Nation Powwow Lloydminister, July 15–17, onionlake.ca
Wood Mountain Lakota Powwow Assiniboia, July 16, 306-266-2039
North American Indigenous Games Toronto, July 16–23, naigcouncil.com. You’ll have to travel to the Big Smoke to see all the action in person, but this sports and culture extravaganza promises to be a great show. Of course, we already know that in Saskatchewan, since Regina hosted the 2014 NAIG.
Poundmaker Traditional Powwow Cutknife, July 18–20, poundmakercn.ca
Back to Batoche Days Batoche, July 20–23. This annual celebration of Métis culture includes traditional games and entertainment from fiddling and jigging to square-dancing, old time dancing and an art and craft show.
Carry-the-Kettle First Nation Powwow Sintaluta, July 21–23, 306-727-2135
Ochapowace Cree Nation Powwow Ochapowace, July 21–23, ochapowace.com. This powwow kicks off with a feast on July 20, followed by three days of dancing.
Spirit of Our Nations Regina, July 26–28, fsin.ca. This powwow and cultural celebration is being held on Treaty Four territory as part of the Assembly of First Nations annual general assembly. Co-host is Sakimay First Nation.
Peepeekisis Cree Nation Powwow Near Balcarres, July 28–30, 1-888-892-2292
Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation Powwow Duck Lake, July 28–30, bofn9697.com
Mistawasis First Nation Traditional Powwow Near Leask, July 28–30, mistawasis.ca
Muskoday First Nation Traditional Powwow Prince Albert, Aug. 4–6, muskodayfn.ca
Saskatchewan First Nations Games Regina, Aug 6–11, fhqtc.ca. Features 3,000 athletes aged 13–18 competing in sports such as archery, athletics, beach volleyball, canoeing, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer and softball.
Dakota Dunes Casino Competition Powwow Saskatoon, Aug. 8–10, dakotadunescasin.com. This powwow, which in its 11th year, is at SaskTel Centre.
Pasqua First Nations Powwow Fort Qu’Appelle, Aug. 10, pasquafn.ca.
Waterhen Lake First Nation Traditional Powwow Meadow Lake, Aug. 11–13, mltc.ca/waterhen-lake-first-nation.php
Standing Buffalo First Nation Powwow Fort Qu’Appelle, Aug. 11–13, 306-332-4685. This is one of the oldest and best attended powwows in North America. In addition to the dance competition, there’s craft displays and a “buffalo feed” on Sunday.
Cowessess First Nation Traditional Powwow Near Broadview, Aug. 15–17, cowessessfn.com
Piapot First Nation Traditional Powwow Piapot, Aug. 18–20, 306-781-4848
Potash Corp Wanuskewin Days Cultural Celebrations & Powwow Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Dates T.B.A., wanuskewin.com. Family-friendly celebration of Plains First Nation culture at the Indigenous National Historic Site north of Saskatoon.
Flying Dust First Nation Powwow Near Meadow Lake, Sept. 2–4, flyingdust.net
Treaty Four Powwow Treaty Four Territory, Sept. 16–17, fhqtc.ca. This powwow is part of a larger Treaty Four gathering that is being held Sept. 11–17.