Northern Cree prepare for their return to the Grammy Awards – Home | q | CBC Radio

Many Canadians are really not familiar with the traditional music of this nation but the members of Northern Cree have been drumming for round dances and pow wows since 1982!  According to their webpage, “the group originates from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation but is made up of members from the Treaty 6 area, most notably the Frog Lake Cree Nation, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Samson Cree Nation, Louis Bull Cree Nation, and the Poundmaker Cree Nation.”  All of the members have full-time jobs and other activities that keep them busy, like raising their families but the group is frequently present at round dances in the winter, pow wows in the summer, and award shows when they are nominated.  Tonight, they will be opening for the Grammy Awards, after being nominated for an award for the 7th time!  Take some time to listen to some of their contemporary and traditional music, as well as the CBC interview with Steve Wood (very slow and clear English).

Northern Cree’s Steve Wood discusses his group’s Grammy nomination and their upcoming performance at the ceremony’s pre-show.

Source: Northern Cree prepare for their return to the Grammy Awards – Home | q | CBC Radio


Pow Wow Season 2016

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Every summer, there are colourful, amazing festivals that take place at First Nations all around the province.  Dancers and drummer practice all through the winter season, and family members help to make the dancer’s regalia by hand.  I have posted … Continue reading

Another fun summer weekend! Things to do in and near Edmonton

Every weekend in the summer, there are many events, activities and festivals, in and around Edmonton.  These are just a few of them.

We’re going to take the Edmonton Streetcar tomorrow to visit the Whyte Avenue area (Old Strathcona).  The streetcar is very interesting and a very convenient and inexpensive way to travel between Old Strathcona and downtown.

Edmonton Streetcar: 100-year-old streetcars have been restored and are operated by volunteers to travel between downtown and Old Strathcona.  $5/return.

Edmonton Streetcar: 100-year-old streetcars have been restored and are operated by volunteers to travel between downtown and Old Strathcona. $5/return.

We’re going to visit the Edmonton Sand Sculpture Exhibition, near Whyte Avenue and Gateway Boulevard.  Sand sculptures are very popular in beach locations.  They’re not very common, here in urban Alberta!

The Sand on Whyte is part of a popular, long-running art festival, Edmonton Art Walk, which has operated near Whyte Avenue for many years.

Edmonton Street Performers’ Festival is continuing in Churchill Square, if you want to see acrobats, comedians, or jugglers performing.

For a very unique activity, there are also 2 pow wows being held near Edmonton this weekend:

Enoch Cree Nation is very close to West Edmonton Mall.  Take Whitemud Drive outside the city to Highway 60, and then travel south past the townsite (less than 5 kilometres).  The pow wow arbour is on the east (left) side of the highway, travelling south.

Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation is located north of Lac Ste. Anne, near Glenevis, AB.  It would be about a 1-hour drive to visit from Edmonton.



Pow Wow Season begins!

During the summer months, there are many pow wow dance competitions at First Nations all over the continent.  If you look at the map on this page:

you can see that there are almost 50 First Nations (reserves) in Alberta alone.  Not all of them have pow wows, but many do.  The most colourful times are during Grand Entry, which is generally held twice a day.  Drum groups and dancers travel long distances to compete, and it’s a great time to socialize.  Generally there’s no cost to attend, and drugs and alcohol are strictly forbidden.  There are also opportunities to purchase yummy food, and a variety of crafts and souvenirs

Regina indoor pow wow

Round Dance season begins again

Some information that I previously shared about round dances is below.  If you want to participate in a very unique Canadian cultural activity, there are many round dances that are held during the winter season.  Some are fairly private dances, held to honour the anniversary of a loved one’s death, and many are held by community organizations, and they are open to the public.

A round dance is very different from a pow wow, although the drumming and singing may sound similar.  Many communities and families host round dances during the winter season. Most of the people who attend will participate in the dancing, which is usually in a circle, around the drummers.  Often, the dancing doesn’t start until pretty late in the evening, and people will stay well into the night.  There is no cost to attend, and alcohol and drug use is always prohibited.

This article gives more information about the reasons for a round dance:

This website also has a few photos and videos to give you a better idea.