Dressed in colourful First Nations costume

Dressed in colourful First Nations costume

Pow Wow commemorates local native heritage

One day after National Aboriginal Day, a small group of local Natives gathered for the first annual Big Valley Pow Wow last Saturday.

One day after National Aboriginal Day, a small group of local Natives gathered for the first annual Big Valley Pow Wow last Saturday.

Planned as a major event to promote the culture in the area, severe flooding in parts of Calgary and southern areas of the province prevented many people, including dancers and drummers from travelling to the central community.

“We hope to continue this as an annual event,” said Anthony Day Chief of the Big Valley Eagle Whistle Society, which organized the event.

“We want to promote our Native culture and to help build bridges between different cultures and to build friendship and understanding.”

Day Chief is one of five local families in the Kainai Nation, part of the Blackfoot Confederation, with others in the Peigan community in Rocket, Alberta, Siksika Nation in Gleichen and Sarcee First Nation in Calgary and Glenmore.

“Western culture is a big part of the community in the Big Valley and Stettler area and we want to promote First Nations,” , said Dave Lilly of the Metis First Nation and community support worker in the region and volunteer pastor for the Metis.

“Without Indians, there would be no cowboys,” Lilly said, noting the term Indians is commonly used among Aboriginal peoples.

People were immersed in the culture with authentic First Nations food such as bannock burgers, fried bread, Indian popcorn and Indian tacos.