Treaty 2 Territory – In August of 1996, Kakakwekejeong Anishinaabe Nation (Ebb and Flow First Nation) commemorated 125 Years since the making of Treaty 2 which took place at Manitoba Post just south of the Nation. Since then, the Nation has been strong and steadfast each year in hosting weeklong Treaty events, followed by one
Treaty 2 Territory – In August of 1996, Kakakwekejeong Anishinaabe Nation (Ebb and Flow First Nation) commemorated 125 Years since the making of Treaty 2 which took place at Manitoba Post just south of the Nation.
Since then, the Nation has been strong and steadfast each year in hosting weeklong Treaty events, followed by one of the biggest Traditional Powwows in the Prairies. For 23 years strong, during the third weekend in August, the powwow circuit came to Kakakwekejeong – until the Covid-19 Pandemic hit. For 2 years, the arbor sat empty as our people tried their best remain safe, and out of harms way from the Coronavirus.
It was time for our dancers to bring out there regalia, and time for our drums to be heard; therefore a dedicated group of volunteers from Kakakwekejeong came together to begin planning to host Ebb & Flow’s 24th Annual Traditional Powwow.
Planning this year’s powwow didn’t come without obstacles. A new location was needed as the former arbor was removed with the building of a new school. Plans to host the powwow at the location of the old band hall were sidelined due to the saturation of the grounds following much rainfall. Plan B was executed, and with consultation of Elders in Bacon Ridge, the planning committee decided to bring the powwow to Bacon Ridge, just a kilometer from the reserve line. Hydro had to be installed, the grounds had to be brushed and cut, and an arbor had to be built, and painted. They made it happen though, all within a month.
And so, for 3 days from August 19th to 21st, the sounds of drumming, singing, bells, jingles and whistles could be heard throughout Bacon Ridge. The school yard at the site of the former Hillridge School was packed from one end to the other with RV’s and tents. The arbor sat over the former baseball diamonds surrounded by more Rv’s, tensts, food booths, apparel booths, the powwow registration office, and the location of where the tipi sat and where sacred fire burned. Parking overflowed into the driveways of those who lived close by.
However, even with so many beautiful dancers, bright colours, and beaded moccasins in the arbor, there was somber feeling over the weekend as news was shared on Friday afternoon that Grandmother Ozhaawashko-Binesi Iwke, Mrs. Mary Houle had left us for the Spirit World. Mary and Percy were original founders, and supporters of the annual traditional powwow in Kakakwejeong. They attended each year, they danced and have several children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who dance. In Mary’s final hours, she shared that she wanted this year’s powwow to continue, no matter what. Mary was very lonesome for Percy and it gives her family so much comfort knowing that their parents will once again be together.
Throughout the weekend, Mary and Percy’s family danced in their memory, and continued to volunteer as oshkaabewisag for the powwow.
Throughout the 3 days, I had the opportunity to meet visitors who have come from as far as Vancouver for this year’s powwow. We met visitors from Calgary, Cote, and vendors from as far away as Quebec.
Saturday Night, Highway 278 along the powwow grounds was lined for miles as visitors came to take in fireworks show, something that Ebb and Flow Powwow is known for. In the history of Bacon Ridge, never has there been so many people, and visitors here.
The powwow hosted many specials, and giveaways. All dancers and drum groups received honorariums while several dancers were gifted prize money for dancing the best in their categories. For 3 days, the temperature soared above 30 degrees Celsius and still, each grand entry filled the arbor.
We commend this year’s powwow committee for their commitment, and dedication in making this year’s powwow such a success. Acknowledgement to Olga Houle, Francine Houle , John Houle, Darren Thompson, Rhonda Delorme, Melanie Monkman, Valerie Richard, Teegan Delorme, and Annie St. Paul for their tireless work.
Congratulations to the citizens of Kakakwekejeong for coming together to support the committee, the drummers, the dancers, the vendors etc. We are always amazed by the hospitality shown to us in Ebb & Flow. Mino Ezhichigen!!
Baamaapii, gi-gaawaabaamin miinwaa.
Contributed By: Marlene Davis, Keeper – Moccasin Trail News