International Powwow draws largest crowd to date

Shawna O'Neill, TC Media 
International Powwow draws largest crowd to date
The Grand Entry at noon showcased dancers of all ages at the 18th annual Akwesasne International Powwow. (Shawna O'Neill/Seaway News).

AKWESASNE – The 18th annual Akwesasne International Powwow drew guests from as far as Arizona and the State of Washington to the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena on Cornwall Island on Saturday Sept. 8 and Sunday Sept. 9. 

“We’re very proud of what it has become,” said Larry King, Co-Chair of the Akwesasne International Powwow. “You can see the busses that are coming from Cornwall, piled full to the maximum. It’s nice to see people coming for the very first time…hopefully they’ll be coming back, too.”

The international event featured traditional drumming, singing and dancing, as well as competitions for performers of all ages. Additional to 12 food vendors, about 50 vendors displayed authentic Indigenous art and creations, from jewellery and clothing to paintings and sculptures. 

King, who was a longstanding District Chief with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA), believes that this year’s powwow drew the largest crowd to date.

“Saturday was probably our biggest crowd ever…I don’t know if we can get much bigger, which is a great problem to have,” he said.

King is very appreciative for the sponsors and several young volunteers that made the event possible, as well as the beautiful weather. He was also grateful to see the much enjoyed Tiny Tot Exhibition, where young dancers showcased their new talents.

“They just learned how to dance, they’re going to learn how to walk next week,” joked the announcer as the youngest dancers were presented during the Grand Entry spectacle at noon.

For the second year in a row, City busses from Cornwall transported attendees to the event free of charge.

“Unfortunately, still in this and day and age, we have to quell the attitude of thought that it’s for First Nations People only,” said King in regards to the international powwow. “Not our particular powwow, it’s a competition powwow, so it’s an invitation for people to come and join us and share our culture.”

“Hopefully they followed the sound of the drum and came to join us,” he added. 

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