Each year the University of Saskatchewan hosts a Graduation Powwow.  View the 2014 schedule to see what it's all about and plan to join us in 2015!

2014 Schedule

Registration and/or Check In

9-10:45am
School groups, Grade 12 graduates, hand drummers, dancers and dignitaries

Drum Roll Call

10:45am 
Points will be awarded to all adult and youth drums

Honouring Grade 12 graduates (First Grand Entry)

 11am
Honouring Grade 12 graduates

Expo

 11-3pm 

Youth Competition

12-3pm
Drum and dancing

Honouring U of S Graduates (Second Grand Entry)

 5 pm
Honouring U of S graduates

Adult Competition

6 - 9 pm
Drum and dancing

School groups

Students of all ages are welcome to attend the powwow! Please have one person from your school register all students who plan on attending the powwow, including any graduating Grade 12 Aboriginal students.

We would like to recognize and honour as many graduating Grade 12 Aboriginal students as possible at the powwow’s first Grand Entry, which takes place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 28. Grade 12 graduates who are registered can participate in the 11 a.m. Grand Entry and will be recognized in the 2014 Graduation Powwow Program.

Travel subsidy

Limited funds are available to provide travel subsidies for school groups attending the Graduation Powwow. If you would like your school to be considered for partial reimbursement of travel expenses, please indicate this when you fill out theSchool Group Registration Form. Schools will be considered for subsidies on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline of May 15, 2014.

Free lunch

A free lunch will be provided to all children in school groups. Affordable lunch options will be available for chaperones, teachers, staff and other powwow attendees. 

Children’s Area

Last year, we hosted a Children’s Area for students arriving before the 11 am Grand Entry. There will be guided sessions from 9-10:40 am that day commencing every 20 minutes hosted by the Saskatoon Public School Division, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, and the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Board. There will also be some independent activities in the children’s area that can be initiated by the teacher as well from 9 am-2 pm.

Dancers

  • All contests are gender specific
  • All dancers may enter in one category only

Absolutely no caps or hats will be allowed with regalia during Grand Entry. Anyone caught wearing caps or hats will forfeit their points for Grand Entry.

If a dancer drops or loses any piece of his / her regalia during dance contention, the contestant may remain in the contest, however, if a dancer walks off during contest, he / she will not be asked to return during that session under the judges' discretion.

No whistles allowed during the contest sessions. If any dancer blows a whistle, all Grand Entry and Contest points for that session will be eliminated.

Any questions / conflicts that should arise regarding the Dance Contest that cannot be solved through the Head Judge will be directed to the Arena Director. All decisions made by the Arena Director are final. If a solution cannot be reached by the above parties, the Arena Director is required to contact the Powwow Committee Chairman. All decisions made by the Powwow Committee are final.

Drummers

  1. All groups must register at least five (5) singers to participate in the contest.
  2. The Head Singer / Lead Drummer must register all drum groups members.
  3. At least one (1) member of each drum group must provide a valid Social Insurance Number and current mailing address otherwise honorariums/prize money cannot be awarded.
  4. All registered singers must be at their respective drums for drum roll call. Roll call will be 15 minutes prior to each Grand Entry. Each drum participating in roll call will be awarded 25 points. Five (5) points will be deducted for each singer missing.
  5. Drums not competing in contest must make drum roll call to be paid for that session.
  6. Drum groups must use the same number of registered singers for each song that they are asked to sing. There will be absolutely no drum hopping and no substitute singers used for drum roll call, inter-tribals, or contests.
  7. A person can participate in both the dance and drum contests. However, if the dance contest and the drum group are called at the same time, and if the dancer chooses to dance rather than sing, the drum group will lose points. If a dancer is with a drum group during Grand Entry and that drum is called upon for a Grand Entry song, his number will be taken by the Head Dance Judge only.

Songs

  • Intertribals: 6 push ups (unless otherwise stated);
  • Contest Songs: 4 push ups;
  • Men’s Traditional / Grass and Women’s Traditional / Jingle: 4 push ups plus tail (if required in song).

The MC / Announcer will notify each drum group in advance of what type of song they will be called upon to sing. The head judge will try to prevent song duplication by a drum group (i.e. crow hops, sneak ups, etc.).

The Head Singer / Lead Drummer for each drum group will be held totally responsible for the behavior of his drum group.

Appropriate song selection must be performed for each category (i.e. Traditional songs for Traditional dances, Grass songs for Grass dances, etc.). No whistles are permitted during dance contests. All tabulations are final!

Any questions / conflicts that should arise regarding the Drum Contest that cannot be solved through the Head Judge will be directed to the Arena Director. All decisions made by the Arena Director are final. If a solution cannot be reached by the above parties, the Arena Director is required to contact the Powwow Committee Chairman. All decisions made by the Powwow Committee are final.

Judging

The drum competition judging system will consist of a five point system (1 = poor; 5 = excellent) with six categories:

  • Judging system — Drummers
  • Dancers' Response
  • Singing / Harmony
  • Drum Rhythm
  • Cleanliness
  • Attendance for Number of Singers
  • Overall Performance