Flying Dust First Nation loves it when a plan comes together. And, in the case of the 2021 Flying Dust Powwow, the plan is to go ahead as normal and prepare for a traditional powwow event.

“We held an online powwow committee meeting last week, and we decided to put together two plans,” explained Melinda Morin of the Flying Dust First Nation powwow committee. “Plan ‘A’ is to go ahead with a traditional powwow Sept. 4 and 5 as if there was no pandemic. We are the last powwow on the trail, at least on this side (of the province) and with September being three months away, we decided to take this approach.”

Not to let COVID-19 have the last laugh, however, the committee also has a backup plan.

“Plan ‘B’ would be to let everybody know – our arena staff, the people we hire, contestants for our powwow pageant – on the flip side, if we have to cancel last minute, they will need to allow us that grace,” Morin continued. “In reality, if Saskatchewan Health says we can’t have it, we can’t have it.”

The Princess Pageant and Little Warrior contest, a highlight of the powwow, will continue even if Plan ‘B’ is required.
“This means, the more tickets the contestants sell, they will win that title,” Morin said. “It’s pretty much our only fundraiser for the powwow, so we’re going to start with that and, if we do need to go with Plan ‘B’, we will still do a live draw on Facebook Sept. 5 from the arbour. Someone will be crowned, someone will be celebrated and honoured, and the people who bought tickets will still win their prize.”

Morin remains optimistic, however, Plan ‘A’ will be the plan that goes forward.

“We’re very optimistic,” she said.

Last year’s FDFN powwow did not happen as a result of COVID-19 and the various restrictions in place.

“I found, during this time, there is a huge disconnect within the community,” Morin said. “It’s difficult to support people during their time of grieving, it’s difficult to help them with their healing when we can’t gather and be there for each other. The purpose of a powwow is it’s a healing ceremony, and remembering those who fight for us and went before us. We couldn’t do that last year and it was very hard on our First Nation, and our surrounding communities. We are really looking forward to this as a committee, as are our elders and our youth.”

Morin concluded by stating she hopes to see many people attend the powwow.

“Everybody is invited, everybody is welcome,” she said. “By then, I am hoping there won’t be any restrictions. It will be nice to see everyone there, and to remember and to celebrate.”