Sunday, July 21, 2024

The South Island Powwow set to take place this month at Royal Athletic Park


A sea of orange is expected at the second annual South Island Powwow!

To mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, the Songhees Nation and the City of Victoria will be hosting the Powwow on Saturday, September 30th.

The event will take place on the homelands of the lək̓ʷəŋən people at Royal Athletic Park—everyone is invited to honour and recognize forced attendees of Residential and Day Schools and their families, the Sixties Scoop, and the children who never made it home from these institutions.

“The South Island Powwow has rekindled a piece of Songhees history, while providing a safe space for healing, education, and understanding,” said Chief Ron Sam of the Songhees Nation.

“We invite the public to be present, with an open mind and open heart to witness the resiliency of Indigenous Peoples on this important day of National Truth and Reconciliation.”

Participants this year include local First Nations, along with Nations from the Mainland and events will include the traditional grand entry of Nations, with Indigenous song and dance with two host drums, Sage Hills and Blackfish.

Guest speakers will be present along with over 80 vendors including multiple food trucks! 

Gates will open at 10 a.m., with two grand entries set for 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. Colours will retire at midnight.

“The City of Victoria is honoured to once again be working in partnership with the Songhees Nation to mark this day and celebrate the strength and resilience of Indigenous Peoples,” said Mayor Marianne Alto. 

“We welcome Songhees Nation’s invitation to the whole community to join the City in supporting the South Island Powwow as a meaningful step in our journeys of reconciliation.”

According to the release, last year’s inaugural South Island Powwow attracted 10,000 people during the grand entry—and they expect even more this year! 

Admission to the event is free. 

South Island Powwow

  • Where: Royal Athletic Park, 1014 Caledonia Avenue
  • When: Saturday, September 30th from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.

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