Canada’s convention centres generally don’t come to mind when imagining indigenous cultural gatherings and celebrations, but Manito Ahbee is an event unlike any other. Held annually in Winnipeg, the festival draws its moniker from the sacred site in Manitoba’s Whiteshell National Park, where First Nations people gather to share their traditions and teachings and perform ceremonies (its name means ‘where the Creator sits’). The celebrations kick off with the lighting of the sacred fire, held at the Forks National Historic Site, which signifies the opening of its numerous events.
Witness Pow Wow – the celebration of culture and friendship among First Nations communities – where more than 800 dancers come together to show off their skills. See the square dance exhibition and the jigging competition in honour of the Metis community. Discover myriad artefacts and traditional artworks at the Indigenous Marketplace and Tradeshow, and marvel as artists put brush to canvas in live art challenges.
Entry costs about US$8 a day.
Manito Ahbee festival is held annually around the middle of May.