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Pwaaganigaawin / Pow Wow

Five community members standing together next to the Eagle Staff. In the background, flags of Indigenous nations

A Pow Wow is a traditional Indigenous gathering for community members from all nations to meet and celebrate Indigenous culture through music and dance

In 1998, Ryerson Polytechnic University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) became the first Toronto university to host a traditional Pow Wow, a tradition that continued for several years. The 1998 theme was “Honouring our past / reaching for our future”. The Pow Wow was relaunched in 2018 and has occurred annually since then. In 2019, programming for Indigenous Education Week was added.

Join us on September 13 for the 2024 Pwaaganigaawin / Pow Wow


If you have any questions, please email Crystal Osawamick, manager of Indigenous events and special projects, at

Past events

Thank you for joining the 2023 Pwaaganigaawin / Pow Wow

On September 23, 2023, the TMU community joined for the first in-person (post-pandemic) TMU Pow Wow since 2019. The Pow Wow included a sunrise ceremony, Pow Wow etiquette, grand entry, dancing, drumming, singing, a vendor market and more.

Jingle dress dancer in traditional regalia dancing

One of the dances performed at the Pow Wow was the jingle dress healing dance. One would offer semaa (tobacco) to a dancer to pray on while dancing. The shape and sound of the cones on the dress are part of the healing process. Photo: Amy Sargent.

Members of the Red Bear Singers singing into microphones and drumming

Red Bear Singers, a collective of singers and drummers who are residential school and Sixties Scoop survivors and descendants, presented their songs. Photo: Amy Sargent.


This year’s event was led by Indigenous undergraduates Mercedes Massingale (School of Social Work), Emma Yerxa (Criminology) and Gabrielle McMann (School of Journalism) through paid positions, providing employment and experience to Indigenous students. Crystal Osawamick, manager of Indigenous events and special projects, supported the students.