Explore Manitoulin's Anishinaabek Culture

Every First Nation community on Manitoulin Island hosts its own unique powwow, an important cultural event.

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, in fact, hosts two: one in Mid-June as a traditional event and hosted each year by one of the community’s several satellite communities. On the Civic Holiday Weekend, Wiikwemkoong hosts a very large competitive powwow where dancers come from all over North America to compete for prizes within their particular category.

All of the other First Nations’ powwows, like Wiikwemkoong’s June event, are ‘traditional’ where native dancers and drummers come for the camaraderie and because they enjoy dancing, powwow style. They come to admire others’ costumes and to enjoy these family-friendly events.

Tourist visitors are always welcome to watch the dancers and to participate in the ‘Inter Tribal’ events the Master of Ceremonies sometimes announces.

There are always many craft shops and food options associated with each powwow where a favourite treat is Indian taco.

For visitors, especially those coming for the first time, there are some protocols that Indigenous communities expect and appreciate.

First and foremost, all of these events are completely drug and alcohol free.

‘Grand Entry’ events usually take place in the mornings and in the early afternoon of each powwow day and while the communities welcome tourist visitors, it is customary that photos of the colourful Grand Entries are politely prohibited.