A large crowd gathered for the powwow celebration. Photo by Axin Xie.
October 31, 2023
Every Child Matters in Moose Jaw
By Axin Xie
Drums and singing rang out for three days in Moose Jaw, where an Every Child Matters powwow was held in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Asked why, volunteer Lori Deets simply said, “We have been children, and we’ll have children.”
Deets is a longtime member of the Wakamow Aboriginal Community Association (WACA), which organized the gathering, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
The second day, a Saturday, coincided with what is more commonly known as Orange Shirt Day, named for Survivor Phyllis Webster’s new orange shirt, taken from her when she entered Residential School.
After rain began falling that afternoon, the powwow moved indoors to the Western Development Museum foyer.
Despite the crowded space, participants young and old danced in traditional regalia to the sound of drums and songs, each in their own unique way.
The energetic atmosphere attracted many visitors, some experiencing Indigenous culture for the first time. In addition to the sights and sounds of powwow, there were endless photo ops and two rooms of vendor tables.
Deets explained it’s important to hold powwows to bring people together.
Many non-Indigenous people are interested in being volunteers, she noted, adding there is a part for Indigenous people to play, and a part for non-Indigenous people, so honouring that balance is an important challenge for organizers.
Deets and the other volunteers are working hard to spread their culture and show their support for children. WACA has been organizing powwows for several years.
“We will try our best to make sure every event is successful every year,” Deets said.
Axin Xie is an exchange student in University of Regina from China and her major is physics .