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Plans Announced for Second International Powwow

Mi'kmaq food, music and culture were on the menu at Mix Fresh Kitchen on Wednesday, March 23, when plans were announced to hold a second international powwow (Mawio'mi) in Halifax Regional Municipality July 1-3.

Deborah Ginnish, executive director, Mi'kmaq Association for Cultural Studies (MACS), said the three-day, free, family event will be similar in size and scope to last year's successful Grand Chief Membertou 400 celebration.

"In planning last year's Grand Chief Membertou celebrations, we had no idea that it would be such a huge hit with the general public," said Ms. Ginnish.

"Over 80,000 people came to the powwow and it was one of three finalists for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada's 2010 national tourism event of the year, generating about $2.5 million for the local economy. Since then, MACS has received an overwhelming number of requests from both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community to do it again this year."

Ms. Ginnish said the event will once again include a cultural village where the public can participate in interactive demonstrations with Mi'kmaq artists and artisans, a First Nations vendors's market and international dance and drum competitions.

"All of the elements that drew such positive responses from the crowds will be back again. The Mi'kmaq community hopes that even more people will join us this summer as we proudly celebrate and share our First Nations culture."

The announcement was made at a reception during the end of a three-day culinary workshop where nine Mi'kmaq youth, under the guidance of First Nation Chef Ray Bear, prepared and served traditional Mi'kmaq food.

The workshop was jointly funded with support from the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, Nova Scotia, and the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

To learn more about the Grand Chief Membertou 400 celebration, visit www.membertou400.com .

For information on MACS or Mi'kmaq Culture visit www.mikmaqculture.com .

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