The pow wow contest received over 300 recorded dance performances submissions.
For the first time in 15 years, the Manito Ahbee Festival introduced a virtual Pow Wow to celebrate life and honour the Indigenous cultures
A pow wow is a celebration of life that aims to bring the community together to honour unique and beautiful Indigenous cultures through music and dance. Due to the ongoing pandemic and the social distancing measures that it brought along, the event was delayed from its original date in mid-May, to find a suitable manner to take place.
Finally, the festival went virtual, and a total of 344 videos were submitted for the competition! The virtual festival was held from July 12-18, 2020 and included many categories and age groups such as Golden Age (60+ years), Sr. Adults (40-59 years), Jr. Adults (18-39 years), Teen (13-17 years), and Junior (6-12 years).
The North West Company Inc. has been a proud presenting sponsor of the Manito Ahbee festivities, and supporter of the rich Indigenous culture it seeks to preserve. To show support, the company also donated $20,000.
In addition, The North West Company’s Healthy Horizons Foundation had the pleasure of contributing with a $5,000 grant towards the Youth Education program were they learn about core values such as Love, Humility, Honesty, Courage, Respect, and Wisdom.
Due to the pandemic, the grant supported the Teen and Junior categories during the vitual pow wow allowing the children and youth dancers to proudly showcase their Indigenous culture through the pow wow.
“The Manito Ahbee Festival is an important annual event in our province. Due to COVID-19, we had to find innovative ways to carry out the event and to connect with our people to help raise their spirits during these uncertain times,” said Lisa Meeches, Executive Director of the Manito Ahbee Festival. “Thanks to the support of The North West Company’s Healthy Horizons Foundation, children and youth dancers across North America had the opportunity to participate and showcase their culture in the competition,” she added.
Winners in each category are listed at the Manito Ahbee Winners List page.