Upcoming pow wow a place of mutual understanding

Dancers perform during the 2018 Heart of the Youth Pow Wow at Kinsmen Park. (Herald file photo)

The main organizer of the upcoming Heart of the Youth Pow Wow is emphasizing that it’s open for everybody.

Last year at the inaugural event, Elder Liz Settee said there were people of all backgrounds.

“You don’t have to be Native. Last year we had newcomers from the Y; we had daycares; we had seniors, Kin Enterprises, like this is the Heart of the Youth Community Pow Wow and for everybody in the community to come together,” she said, adding it’s also about truth and reconciliation.

“We’re going to have to have a learning and an understanding of each other,” said Settee. “(It’s for) just a little bit of insight and to see the laughter…and the commaraderie.”

The 2nd annual pow wow takes place on May 24 at Kinsmen Park. Settee is anticipating up to 3,000 people to come and enjoy the dancing and drumming that First Nations youth have been practicing in school.

“When we say Heart of the Youth, it is truly about the youth and we like to involve them in every aspect,” she said, including on the organizing committee.

She added the event is a positive outlet for the kids.

“It gives them pride. It gives them something to work towards. It gives them an insight into their culture that they not necessarily would learn. It gives them a day of them being kids again where they don’t have any worries. It’s just they’re out there having fun and connecting, making friends,” said Settee.

Last year, the committee expected 900 people, but over double that amount showed up. They’ve been planning since September.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. and closing ceremonies are at 2 p.m. Lunch is provided at noon.