The modern powwow has been uniting Indigenous peoples in joyous celebration of culture for decades, but its roots are far older.
Anishninaabe author and educator Pheasant-Neganigwane has crafted a narrative that tells the history of the powwow, a celebration of Indigenous culture that occurs throughout North America. She describes the history of colonization and Indigenous resistance that culminated in the 19th century—a time when song and dance gatherings also were restricted by both the governments of Canada and the U.S. Holding steadfast to traditional culture and expressing it in the unlikeliest of places—the so-called “wild west shows” and harvest fairs—Indigenous peoples gradually developed these gatherings of song and dance into what are now vibrant celebrations that occur across the continent all year long. The powwow includes many aspects of Indigenous culture: rodeos, fashion shows, and even music awards. The gallery of photos throughout the book gives readers seats at a powwow, an event that is described as a continual space to restore kinship and preserve Indigenous identity. Weaving her own powwow experiences into her narrative, the author describes the formal elements of a powwow as well as regional variations. Sidebars look at related topics such as fry bread and victory songs, and the book ends with a brief primer of powwow etiquette and glossary of cultural vocabulary.
An enriching, information-rich resource that centers an Indigenous perspective. (resources) (Nonfiction. 8-14)