After four long years, The University of Winnipeg’s Graduation Pow Wow is returning in person at the Duckworth Centre on Saturday, March 18. All students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to arrive in time to see the Grand Entry at 12:30 p.m.
The thing about the Graduation Pow Wow is that the community is coming alongside our students, and to me that’s such an important part of being in relationship with each other.
Tanis McLeod Kolisnyk
This annual tradition, now in its 18th year, celebrates the academic achievements of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students graduating during Spring Convocation on June 19 and 20.
Tanis McLeod Kolisnyk, Aboriginal Student Services Coordinator at the Aboriginal Student Services Centre (ASSC), says the community is extremely excited to once again celebrate this important milestone.
“We’re overjoyed that it’s back – it’s going to be a fantastic celebration,” she said. “The thing about the Graduation Pow Wow is that the community is coming alongside our students, and to me that’s such an important part of being in relationship with each other.”
Approximately 40 to 50 Indigenous students have registered to be honoured during the celebration.
“Thank you to the Indigenous students for allowing UWinnipeg, ASSC staff, and Elders to be a part of your time here – from your beginnings with us to this celebration,” Kolisnyk said.
The day will start with a pipe ceremony led by Elder Dan Thomas at 11:00 a.m., followed by the Grand Entry at 12:30 p.m. led by Emcee Ray “Coco” Stevenson, a prayer from Elder Sharon Pelletier, and opening remarks by Dr. Todd Mondor, UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor, and Jonathan Henderson, UWSA Representative.
UWinnipeg graduates will be honoured at 1:30 p.m., followed by Pow Wow dancing that includes Jingle, Traditional, Fancy, and Grass Specialties. The day will conclude with a community feast at 6:00 p.m.
“It is true that we never reach times of accomplishment alone,” Kolisnyk said. “On this educational journey, your family members and loved ones – yes, even little ones in your circle – your Indigenous community, the professors who helped your knowledge and skill sets grow, and a variety of staff that journeyed with you as well, are all here with you. You are a part of a circle of caring and now we all get to celebrate your accomplishments.”
Learn more about The University of Winnipeg’s 18th annual Graduation Pow Wow.