Indian Country bustles with energy when powwow celebrations highlight the summer season. The powwow complex represents the most successful cultural export from the plains. Since their inception they have become markers of identity for Aboriginal people today and are celebrated in many first nations across Canada. Despite their popularity very little is known about their contemporary origins. This presentation explores the Brocket Indian Days, which is the longest running annual powwow in Canada. Since 1954, when the Piikani First Nation hosted its first powwow, these events have gained much attention among first nations. Also showing during this presentation is a new video documentary by the author that retraces the course of the modern powwow trail, and its current expression at Piikani.
Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn grew up on the Piikani Nation, home to the first powwow in Canada. He is Chair for the Department of First Nations Studies at Simon Fraser University. He also holds an appointment of in the Department of Archaeology. His interests include Blackfoot mythology and folklore studies. His field research focuses on the historical archaeology of the Piikani First Nation. He is the co-author of the volume First Peoples in Canada (2004) and producer of the video documentary Digging Up The Rez: Piikani Historical Archaeology (2014).