Saturday, June 18, Noon to 6 p.m. at Fort York

Experience the free annual Na-Me-Res Traditional Pow-Wow. View the schedule below and start planning your experience at day one of the two-day Indigenous Arts Festival. Find directions to Fort York National Historic Site. Gates open at 11 a.m.


Grand Entry and Na-Me-Res Pow Wow

Noon to 5 p.m.

The Pow Wow grounds is a sacred space. Please be respectful and take note of the following:

  • Listen to the Master of Ceremonies (MC) to understand protocols. The MC will note when to stand, e.g. during the Grand Entry, when to remove your hat and when it is okay to take photos.
  • Always ask permission before taking photos of dancers in regalia.
  • Never touch a dancer’s regalia.
  • Smoking is considered disrespectful, and alcohol, drugs or firearms are not permitted.
  • Make sure to browse the offerings available at the artisan vendor booths
  • Be open minded and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Attention dog owners: pets should be kept at home. Service animals exempt.

Thank you for consideration and respect. We hope you enjoy your time at the Pow Wow.

Community Feast

5 to 6 p.m.

Indigenous Arts Festival partners with the Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence) to host their Annual Traditional Pow Wow, an event that sees thousands of people attend the celebration to enjoy traditional food and watch drummers and dancers perform. See images from previous years.

Noon to 6 p.m.

An outdoor artisan vendor market will feature a variety of Indigenous artisans curated by Dashmaawaan Bemaadzinjin (They Feed the People) in collaboration with Barb Nahwegahbow from Blue Dawn Consulting Inc.

Food Vendors

Noon to 5 p.m.

Dashmaawaan Bemaadzinjin (They Feed the People) will curate a selection of Indigenous and Indigenous-fusion foods that will challenge the idea of festival foods. A range of nutritious and fun offerings will be provided in support of Indigenous food sovereignty.

DISH DANCES by Ange Loft with Jumblies Theatre & Arts

Location: Fort York Visitor Centre Boardwalk

Ange Loft with Jumblies Theatre & Arts, in collaboration with a team of artists, including choreographers, dancers and composers, have created DISH DANCES (2022), a video installation that focuses on a centuries-old Indigenous concept and treaty revolving around the co-governance of land between different Nations. A short walk from Fort York is a companion installation at Jumblies Theatre & Arts featuring historic texts providing information about the Dish with One Spoon concept, alongside follow-along movement activity videos.

DISH DANCES is on display until June 30 as part of the Toronto Biennial of Art.

Queering Place Earth Art Installation

Location: Fort York Garrison Common (west end of site)

Queering Place Earth Art Installation is a project of SKETCH Working Arts that engages 2SQTBIPOC Artists in Residence to plant and tend a medicine wheel garden that connects to planter installations in the four directions with city-wide partners to nurture healing gathering spaces for 2S, Queer and Trans young people. This garden (ode to earth) includes a queer circle seating arrangement made (ode to fire) with woven tire stacks inviting audiences to stay awhile and sit with their inqueeries as they visit and listen with the plants. Artists of 2021 beautified repurposed tires with native pollinator plants & an accompanying sound-story piece that moved like a river (ode to water) that travelled south-west to north-east past wind chimes (ode to wind), in the Burgundy maple grove. This installation was first envisioned in collaboration with the Force Field Indigiqueer art installation curated by Logan MacDonald for the 2021 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.

Queering Place Earth Art Installation is on display until September.

Weweni Bizindan (Listen Carefully)

Location: Under the Gardiner Expressway at Fort York and The Bentway Conservancy

There is a tendency for the non-dominant English language to perpetuate a view of the street as static, cold, necessary. Most objects in the English-speaking world are effectively dead. Certainly, that can be said of a highway. And, yet, for Anishinaabemowin – a verb-based language that ascribes spirit to rocks and trees among many other animate things – we might consider the built environment to be a relative. What does it mean to be in relation to the street? To speak to, and through it? Learning that the space of The Bentway speaks, and you can hear it if you listen closely (salt used in the concrete curing process long ago moving through the structure), pushes us to consider the Gardiner on new terms; what life exists here amid the traffic and the wind? From ground-level, looking east or west, the Bentway resembles a canyon. We imagine the sounds of life echoing through time like the language itself, distorted slightly here, mispronounced there, bouncing back and re-forming like an echo. This is true of so many of the words and phrases in our language. As Anishinaabeg, we privilege mobility – our fluid movement through time and space – but sometimes we must also stop and listen carefully to hear the authentic. Perhaps this reflects the “living” nature of our language, written and reflected in concrete and salt.

Weweni Bizindan is a large-scale public art installation – a dialogue with the street – that contributes to discussions of the animate nature of our language and the world around us. It was created by Ogimaa Mikana Project. It was commissioned by The Bentway Conservancy and hosted by Fort York National Historic Site.

Thank you to our Programming Partners The Bentway, Jumblies, SKETCH and Toronto Biennial of Art.