Friday, September 12, 2014
Our visit to James Bay
The drive to Eastmain, QC took us approximately 17 hours and was absolutely nothing like I thought it would be. I had visions of terrible roads and bears basically terrorizing drivers as they try to get back among humans. Of course I was wrong. It was a beautiful drive with a stretch of about 5 hours where we were out of cell service but the scenery was incredible.
The community of Eastmain really has some nice facilities, a great gym, swimming pool and work out room. A great space for a powwow.
The host families that looked after the powwow participants were so accommodating. They really took great care of us. This is Dorothy, we were very grateful to stay in her home. Literally in minutes it felt like we were old friends. Oh and the food was so good that I had to dance every single intertribal just to not gain 10 lbs. I see you committee, I see what you did there. :)
The committee did such a great job of planning this event. There were so many fun specials and I absolutely loved all the community engagement. Most powwows that we attend in Southern Ontario, NY state and surrounding areas seem to really try to gear events to the spectators. I really loved that this powwow geared their events towards trying to get the local community involved. Lots of fun specials such as a free style two step where a dancer in regalia must find a local community member as a partner. My partner and I took 2nd place in that special by the way. (darn, no pictures). A best Ribbon Shirt contest (which Derek won in the adult division) and my favourite was the home made regalia contest. The photo above is the winner. If you look closely at the details of her dress you can see all the creativity that she put into it. Her dress was made of pink plastic table cloth and garbage bag sleeves, candy for jingles, coffee filters for hair accessories and to top it off she had plastic forks for her feather fan and for the feathers in her hair. So so so good!
Rosary and Jacob joined us from Toronto. Rosary got in on the 2 man Hand drum singing contest. Wow, can this lady sing! To say I was impressed was definitely an under statement. This is probably a good time to mention that all of the drums were jamming. Nothing better than a jamming song to get you moving.
This was our crew for the weekend. We had such a great time with Deanne and John, and Rosary and Jacob that the weekend just flew by. Some of us were able to arrive in time to participate in the Goose Dance ceremony. The whole cultural weekend was just what we all needed to rejuvenate our batteries for the new school year. To all those still wrapping up their powwow season, safe travels. Hope to see you at a round dance or social sometime over the fall/winter season.