Pow Wow Etiquette

A Pow Wow is a sacred cultural activity and many newcomers to a Pow Wow don't always understand the meaning and importance of the event. Below is a list of 'Do's and Don'ts' to be aware of during the ceremony. These are fairly general rules and will apply to any Pow Wow event regardless of the Nation. Please endeavour to follow these rules whenever possible.

  1. Photographers:
    Please note that there are times during the Pow Wow celebration that photographs are NOT permitted. Neither are audio recordings or the use of motion picture cameras. Please pay attention to the MC, he will let you know when you are not permitted to use these types of equipment. Please honour this request. Many ceremonies during a Pow Wow are sacred and must not be recorded. Also take note that some people may not want to be photographed. Please respect this.


    Anyone who appears under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be asked to leave the Pow Wow site. Pets are not permitted on the Pow Wow grounds.

    The Pikwakanagan Pow Wow Committee is NOT responsible for any accidents, personal loss, injury or damage.

    Pow Wow Etiquette:
    1. Allow Elders and disable people to sit in areas designed for them, with a family member or companion.
    2. Allow dancers to be on the benches/chairs immediately surrounding the dance area.
    3. Honour songs should be respected standing and removing hats without Eagle feathers is appreciated.
    4. Please obtain permission from individuals for photo approval.
    5. Please do not stand in front of others, this shows respect for others.
    6. Please take direction from the MC and Pow Wow Elder.
    7. Requests or direction is taken to the MC or Pow Wow Committee.
    8. The Grand Entry is considered sacred; the influence of drugs or alcohol is not acceptable for any participant.
    9. Appropriate clothing is mandatory in the dance area and throughout the Pow Wow grounds.
    10. Pets are not permitted on the grounds. Unless they are seeing eye dogs.
    11. A women who is on her time is not allowed in the dance area.
    12. Photographs are not permitted during Grand Entry, Honour Songs and Retiring of the Flags unless stated.
    13. The drum arbor or drum pit is designated for drummers and singers only.
    14. Please, keep the Pow Wow ground clean.
    15. Caring for Mother Earth is a very important teaching for everyone. Please respect our grandfather rock, do not sit on him.