UWinnipeg annual Spring Pow Wow cancelled

Everyone is welcome to attend The University of Winnipeg’s annual Spring Pow Wow. ©UWinnipeg

The community will gather to honour the academic achievements of graduating First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students during The University of Winnipeg’s 18th annual Spring Pow Wow.

The annual celebration, which is taking place at the Duckworth Centre on Saturday, March 21, also recognizes the hard work by faculty, staff, and the community that has made it possible for the graduates to be successful throughout their studies.

“UWinnipeg looks forward to our annual Pow Wow where we acknowledge Indigenous graduates and celebrate their academic achievements with them,” said Jeffrey Booth, Aboriginal Student Support Officer. “It is always important to include our culture when there are successes. We anticipate honouring approximately 40 graduates, and are still accepting graduate registrations up to March 18.”

Kirstin Witwicki ©UWinnipeg

Kirstin Witwicki will be graduating with a double major in Indigenous studies and geography. One of the first members of her family to graduate from university, she’s most looking forward to celebrating the day with her loved ones.

And that includes members from the Bear Clan Patrol West Broadway, where she has been volunteering since 2018 with high school friend and coordinator, Travis Bighetty.

“I’m already out in the workforce and I have a good career with Assiniboine Credit Union, but I’ve always just wanted to do it,” she said of deciding to return to school. “For me, it’s more so just exciting for my kids, nieces, and nephews to see that graduating university can be done if it’s something they want to do.”

Witwicki applauded UWinnipeg for continuing to host the Spring Pow Wow year after year, noting how important it is for students to experience their culture and language during their studies.

“I went to Children of the Earth High School, so we had Pow Wows, we had feasts, and we had pipe ceremonies all the time. It just became something you almost took for granted,” she said. “I think some people didn’t get that in high school, so I think the Spring Pow Wow is a really great experience for them.”

Melissa Anderson ©UWinnipeg

For Melissa Anderson, UWinnipeg’s Spring Pow Wow is always a highlight of the academic year. She first volunteered at the event in 2008, and has been attending ever since. However, this year will be different, as the physics major will be part of the graduating class of 2020.

“I’m looking forward to being able to walk with the graduates,” she said. “I’ve been watching it for so many years and have always wanted to be part of it… and I get to be this year.”

Anderson credited the University for starting and continuing this springtime tradition almost two decades ago, noting its importance for Indigenous students.

“I’m really thankful UWinnipeg helps the Aboriginal Student Services Centre put on the Pow Wow every year to celebrate our culture after this big accomplishment,” she said.

The daylong celebration will begin at 11:00 am with a pipe ceremony, followed by the Grand Entry at 12:30 pm, opening remarks by President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Annette Trimbee, the honouring of graduates, drumming and dancing throughout the afternoon, and a feast and evening entertainment to close out the day.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brandon Logan, Digital Communications Coordinator
The University of Winnipeg
T: 204-988-7129 | e: b.logan@uwinnipeg.ca

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