A cause to celebrate: The Treaty 4 Gathering Powwow
- Campbell Stevenson | September 21, 2023
In the heart of Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, the annual Treaty 4 Gathering took place for the 37th year.
The week of Sept 11-17, symbolized a renewal of relationships through traditional teachings, and celebrations.
On the final two-days of the celebration, Cowessess First Nation hosted a powwow to remember.
Cory Generoux, the communications specialist with Cowessess, and member of the treaty 4 powwow committee, accepted the role to organize the powwow approximately 5 weeks prior to the celebration.
“I was always in charge of the powwow, but needed help in the administrative part. Cowessess really helped in a big way to see this powwow through.” Said Generoux, adding,
“…this is probably the biggest I have seen this gathering in about 10 years I’d say, and it was a success.”
Generoux took on this endeavor, mainly to pay his respects to Judy Pinay, who was instrumental in the treaty 4 gathering, and the powwow committee for over 34 years,
“With the powwow planning committee in previous years, we would meet together and Judy would always give us our duties to do, and this year was quite difficult without Judy.” Said Generoux.
The ceremony that took place on Saturday began with a grand entry, and was followed by the Les Goforth memorial, a family special honouring a lost loved one. Many more specials were included, including The Doris Bellegarde Memorial, the Tiny Tot special, an MMIWG special, and more.
This annual gathering signified yet another year of moving forward in positive change, and the celebration of Indigenous people situated on treaty 4 land, and beyond.
Gaylene Anaquod, the executive director of governance programs policy and white raven healing for the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council, was intimately involved with the organising of the gathering.
“This week was a huge success…you could really feel the energy and the spirit of celebration, of honouring that we are all treaty,” said Anaquod.
“The powwow is a great end to the whole week of activities, of commemorating treaties, especially Treaty 4. The powwow itself is a ceremony, but it showcases the beauty of Indigenous culture by bringing everyone together.”
As Sunday brought the celebrations to an end, Generoux felt the positive impact of the celebrations as he reminisced and pondered on the role the powwow had this year.
“I grew up here in Fort Qu’Appelle, I grew up with this powwow…I’m really full of gratitude, and touched by how well it went.” Said Generoux.
“As long as the people leave with good feelings, in a good way, that was our aim.”
Next year marks the 150th anniversary since the signing of Treaty 4. Therefore, it is planned to be celebrated in a big way.
Notably, according to Anaquod, plans to welcome royalty are already underway.