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Pow Wow in Ottawa

A couple of years ago, I attended the National Aboriginal Day celebrations on Victoria Island, by Parliament Hill. I was introduced to Aboriginal’s culture and had a great day among the performers.

This year, I was pleasantly surprised to see the festival had grown quite a bit. It has now moved to Vimy Place, on Lebreton Flats—and it was packed!

I spent most of the time watching the pow wow competition where dozens of kids, men, women and elders took turn performing traditional dances. The costumes were simply amazing! The atmosphere was great too, people were relaxed and welcoming… a photographer’s dream.

As a new Canadian, I fell in love with Aboriginal culture. Despite years of forced assimilation into French and English settlers’ culture and terrifying statistic regarding poverty, incarceration and education, Aboriginal culture is alive in Canada. I find it comforting. Maybe it’s not too late to end the injustices. Each nation had done atrocities at one point or another in history, but great nations acknowledge it eventually and put it right. And it’s also up to us, new Canadians, to learn about Aboriginal culture and to respect it. So let’s celebrate!

You can see the complete set of pictures taken at the Aboriginal Solstice Festival on Flickr.

Aboriginal Drum
Moccasins
Native Veteran
Kid Dancing
Feathers
Older Dancer
Awesome Makeup!
On Stage
Lost in the Crowd
Watching the Show
With a Little Help From My Friend
Three Dancers
Dancing
Watching the Show

Getting Ready
Dancers
Eagle Drum
Thanking Each Others
Drum
Amazing Costumes
Headgear
Braiding Hair
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