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COMMUNITY, FAMILY and SPIRITUALITY:
COMMUNITY

The Powwow is a gathering that reinforces the values of working together as a family and bonding as a community. Powwows are places where young people are exposed to the language, values and teachings of the elders and community.

These sentiments are illustrated in the words of Mike Hotaine, a Master of Ceremonies and Dakota person from Manitoba: "Ochiapo means come and help each other. Come let's do it together. Hokahey ochiapo, [means] to give each other strength, to give each other words of encouragement...gratefulness for you to be here, and gratefulness that we met today and talked, and that's what the Powwow's about. It's a celebration of people coming together to share and communicate. No matter what part of Mother Earth you're on, that part of land is relative, and whoever walks on it is your friend, your 'koda.' That's how we look at it. When we come to a celebration, a Powwow, it's like a bunch of birds coming together to communicate, to talk about things, about life. It's about a new beginning that we will create for each other, for two people, and then we will fly away. And that's exactly what will happen here. We come together this weekend, and after it's finished we'll be going home in our directions and the Powwow will be finished. And we will go home feeling a different beginning, a different beginning that's happened."