I had the opportunity to attend and cover the annual Sipekne’katik Mawio’mi Powwow on July 29 in Indian Brook. It was an assignment I was looking forward to covering.

Why? Because it would be showcasing the tradition and culture of our next door neighbours of the Mi’kmaq community, and I would get to see many of my former high school friends from the community of Indian Brook.

Parking at LSK school, I walked up the little lane towards the newly built arbour, and I was wowed as I saw what a community effort can look like. It was very impressive. I was happy to see this because so much and so often you only hear the negative and never see the positive side much reported in the media from Indian Brook.

Unfortunately, you only see the mainstream media in the community for the negative news, not for good news such as the arbour, the upcoming Father Boudreau tournament, the athletes’ success on international and North American stage. That’s too bad because, in my own opinion, they missed a good event at the Mawio’mi.

As the drums beat I was bopping my head and wanting to join some of the Mi’kmaq dancers that were in the centre of the arbour as I recognized a few of the songs from growing up around many of those from Indian Brook that made up Eastern Eagle. It’s great to see after all these years they continue to go with new faces and drummers.

For all the hard work the volunteers with the Powwow committee have done, the likes of Chasity Lucio and Brian Knockwood, you all deserve high praise for pulling off such an exciting and educational event.

It was very well organized and gave Mi’kmaq a chance to showcase their traditions and culture for others from across the Maritimes — and even locals from East Hants, like myself and the few others that took the drive out to Indian Brook — to take it in.

That’s kind of the disappointing part for me. I wish more people from East Hants had taken the opportunity to attend to see and learn about their culture and tradition.

That disappointment aside, what I will remember most from the Mawio’mi is the faces of kids like Arellaina Augustine of Sipekne’katik and Kallia from Elispogtog, N.B.; they are among two that stand out as they participated in the inter-tribal dances. They showed enjoyment.

And that, in the end, is what I think it was all about — enjoyment of their culture and tradition. Kudos to all those volunteers involved in pulling this off. I look forward to attending future Mawio’mis right in our own backyard. You should too!

– Pat Healey

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Patrick Healey
Pat has grown up in East Hants, having called Milford, and now Enfield home. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2001, and has spent time at newspapers in NL and Alberton and Summerside, PEI before becoming a reporter/photographer at The Weekly Press/The Laker in October 2008. He has a rescue kitty named Asha that is much loved—and spoiled. Pat is also our "social engagement guru." Check him out on twitter!