ALSA Pow Wow, 2006
Dancers from the Red Spirit Dance Troupe perform in the Rowell Room.

Aboriginal students showcase Pow Wow and Fall Feast for law school

From the Winter 2006/2007 issue of Nexus.

The Rowell Room was full to capacity as the Aboriginal Law Students Association (ALSA) held its second annual Pow Wow and Fall Feast in November 2006.

The modern Pow Wow is an opportunity for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to gather to dance, sing, eat, and socialize, and an important tradition in Métis culture that typically celebrates a successful moose harvest or Louis Riel Day on Nov. 16.

Elder, Grafton Antone, opened the ceremony by inviting everyone to take part in the smudge, a Native American tradition that involves the burning of herbs for emotional, psychic, and spiritual purification as a kind of "spiritual house cleaning." The smell of sage smoke and sounds of the drum and song of the Red Spirit Singers filled the room as recent alumna Nicole Richmond ('06) and other dancers performed for the crowd. The feast included traditional fare prepared by ALSA members including smoked salmon, partridge à l'orange, moose stew, bannock, wild rice casserole, baked squash, and raspberry salad.

The annual law school event aims to build connections with the wider student body at the law school and others at the university. Attendees included the president of U of T's Native Students'Association, John Crouch, as well as other Aboriginal U of T students from First Nations House.