A Teacher's Guide inspired by Traditional Pow Wow

The Pow Wow Trail Teacher’s Bundle was created upon Treaty One Land. Treaty One Land is the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Ininiwak, Anishininiw, Dene, Dakota Oyate, and Red River Metis. This bundle was created in honour of all First Nations communities of Turtle Island. The Pow Wow Trail Teacher’s Bundle was created in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation. The hope is to invoke thought, reflection, and growth in all educators and students who interact with the lesson plans.

In the Pow Wow Trail Teacher’s Bundle, Students will learn about the celebration of life that is Pow Wow. Students will build a deeper understanding about the significance of the dances, the stories in the Regalia and importance of the Drum. Students will have opportunities to build connections to one another, to their community, and to the Land. Pow Wow is pedagogy. It provides connections to protocol and Creator. It is filled with oral tradition, storytelling, and traditional knowledge. It is premised on a community and strength-based approach on relationships and kinship. Pow Wow is good medicine. 

Through oral tradition, students will embark on a journey where they will read and listen to stories about Muskegon (Mus-kay-gon). Muskegon is a young Anishinaabe boy who is journeying to his first Pow Wow with his grandfather. Readers will learn about important aspects of Pow Wow such as protocol, the agenda of events, the stories behind the dances, and more through the eyes and heart of Muskegon. Students will also learn about Pow Wow through a video series.

The lessons are rooted in Heartwork. Heartwork is intentional and meaninful work that is done through the Spirit.

About the Author

Marika Schalla (she/her) is an award-winning educator, author, curriculum developer and mother of two from Winnipeg’s North End. Marika and her family come from the Métis community of Saint Laurent, Manitoba. Marika has an inherit passion for storytelling, land-based learning, and language revitalization. She has dedicated herself to Indigenous education and teaching the truth about Indigenous resilience and brilliance. She strives for real change in our school systems. Her work reflects meaningful reconciliation that engages youth and provides them with Indigenous cultural and traditional connections, and opportunities to make a difference.

Pow Wow Video Series

Community members Ray Coco Stevenson, Patricia Big George, Rhonda James, Wayne Ruby, and Wes Nelson bring viewers on a journey that teaches about the basics of Pow Wow, importance of the different Regalia, and the stories behind Jingle Dress Dancing, Women’s Traditional Dancing, Grass Dancing, and Men’s Traditional Dancing.

Episode 1 – What is Pow Wow

Episode 2 – Jingle Dress Dance

Episode 3 – Womens Traditional Style Dance

Episode 4 – Grass Dance

Episode 5 – Mens Traditional Style Dance