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The first words you see on the website for the Mississauga of Scugog Island First Nation are PROUD and STRONG and both were on full display at this year's annual powwow held this past weekend. We had thirteen people (maybe more) from our Church of the Ascension family attend attend the ceremonies at the powwow. We went as members of our community supporting their community. Each of us had our own reasons for attending this wonderful event but as we spoke together I discovered that we went to watch and listen, to be present and participate. We went to accept the hand of friendship that the Mississauga of Scugog Island extended to us.

While some of us participated in the Sunrise ceremony most of us attended the Grand Entrance. First we heard the drummers pound out their rhythm which echoed like the heartbeat of the earth itself, steady and strong. Then the dancers entered! From toddlers to the aged, men and women in regalia as colourful and varied as you can imagine they danced. They danced in joy and celebration; they danced out their history and their hopes. They wore dignity and honour. They were proud and strong.

It was great to have so many from our parish attend the powwow. We were humbled and honoured to be a part of this cultural celebration. One of us asked a dancer how we can be part of meaningful reconciliation. The answer was; listen. We will all be invited to attend again next summer and I hope that once again many of our community will attend, enjoy and listen.