Dialogues for Promoting Indigenous Spirituality and Culture

Ottawa Indigenous Children and Youth Pow Wow

The call of the drum, the array of colours and the pride on little faces as they take their place in the grand entry all draw people to the Ottawa Indigenous Children and Youth Pow Wow.

The celebration of Indigenous culture and people is hosted annually by the Odawa Native Friendship Centre.

The non-profit organization serves the Indigenous community in the Ottawa-Carleton Region of Eastern Ontario and surrounding communities. 

Odawa aims to foster a thriving and resilient community, enhancing the quality of life of Indigenous people by providing access to tradition through various programs, events, and dedicated services. After a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pow Wow returned in March of 2023, the first event of its size since 2019. 

Connection, culture and ceremony

The Pow Wow brings people together. It is also an opportunity to share ceremonies and support young families. The Baby Welcoming Ceremony, First Time Dancer Ceremony and a Walking Out Ceremony all offer blessings and let parents know they are not alone. Their children are claimed by the collective community and all share in the responsibility of passing on customs, guidance and skills. 

Building lasting and sustained cultural events is an integral part of a healthy society. Although it was necessary for the community to pause during the pandemic, it is just as essential that the community reconnects to share in the joy, laughter and traditions of the Anishinabek people.  

An event of this size and importance requires plenty of planning, community commitment, and financial contributions. The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF) was proud to provide the necessary funding for reimbursement of the event. 

The IRF contributed to the rental of the event centre, tables, chairs and vendor booths. 129 drummers, dancers and flag carriers made the event come alive. IRF provided their honorariums, as well as the ones for the photographers.  

Prioritizing cultural events contributes to truth and reconciliation and reemphasizes a shared commitment to building rich stories and memories as a whole society. The Pow Wow strongly supports culture revitalization, education and community building. 

The continued goal of the Ottawa Indigenous Children and Youth Pow Wow is that the time spent together will foster a better understanding of one another and strengthen a bond of peace and friendship with neighbours of all cultures. 

Establishing Programming for Future Generations

The Odawa Native Friendship Centre has been contributing to Indigenous cultural events and programs for more than 45 years. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life for Indigenous people in the capital region, to maintain a tradition of community, an ethic of self-help and development as well as to provide traditional teachings from Elders. For more information on Odawa Native Friendship Centre and to learn more about their programs and events, you may visit them at their website.

Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall