Mikinaak School of Onigaming First Nation started the year off with a mini pow-wow. Dancers, local drummers, and singers welcomed new and returning students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
As customary, prior to the celebration of a new school year, various youth visited elders with an offering of tobacco and invitation to attend the school’s first mini pow-wow.
This event was designed to set the climate of Mikinaak School, and created a “sense of community” linking the school and the community members together.
Followed by feasting of the school drum and Turtle Rock, the grand entry began at 2 p.m. Onlookers stood in reverence as student dancers joined the circle around the drummers and singers.
Many of the young students have been looking forward to this day to show off their colours and to dance with pride for their school, elders, and family. Along with inter-tribal dances, there were specials for grass dancers, jingle dress dancers, and fancy shawl dancers.
Each of the dances are prayers to the Creator as the drum beats in rhythm of our beating hearts.
An “Honourary Song” was dedicated from the elders to a visitor, Eriko, from Japan. Onigaming’s princess, Rochelle Kelly, gently coached Eriko in the dance to the beating drum and singers.
Students soon gathered around Rochelle and Eriko to dance with, and to welcome, their new friend.
After the pow-wow, members of Onigaming First Nation gathered at Mikinaak School to join in the feast of fried fish and wild rice, etc.
Students of all ages served their elders before standing in line to serve themselves.
The school spirt was high as there were a lot of smiling faces and light-heartedness among the students, parents, elders, and school staff.
It is going to be an awesome year of personal growth and academic achievement!