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‘It’s who we are’: FSIN powwow draws thousands to Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre

Hundreds of dancers took to centre stage for the final grand entry on Sunday afternoon at the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Spirit of our Nations Cultural Celebration and Powwow.

Organizers estimated between 10,000 to 12,000 people would attend the weekend event at SaskTel Centre, with more than 700 dancers and 16 drum groups registered.

Alicia Thomas, from Big River First Nation, was one of the dancers participating in the three-day event.

Thomas said she’s been dancing since she was eight years old and now she attends powwows with her husband and two children.

“We’ve been involved my whole life,” Thomas said. “It’s who we are. It’s what we do for fun and we love it.”

“I love dancing because you go through a lot of stuff in life and it’s my best way of leaving everything out on the dance floor, all negativity, all the hardships, and I just leave it all out there.”

Terry Paskimin has been singing and drumming for 35 years.

“When I was about 16, I sat at a big drum for the first time and it just took over me. I thought, if I can, I want to do this for the rest of my life,” said Paskimin.

Paskimin’s drum group, Blackstone Singers, was one of two host drums at the powwow.


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