Venturing into a new city as an Indigenous post-secondary student can feel both exhilarating and daunting. Engaging in cultural events such as powwows not only strengthens your connection to your Indigenous heritage, but also helps ease your transition by fostering a sense of community. Here are strategies on how to find local cultural events in your new city.

Understanding the Importance of Cultural Events

Cultural events like powwows are vibrant displays of heritage and tradition, with drumming, dancing, singing, and storytelling. These events are also opportunities for community building and cultural exchange. They can make you feel connected to your roots and offer an environment where you can express your cultural identity freely.

Researching Online

The Internet is a fantastic resource. Start your search by looking for local Indigenous organizations or community centres in your new city. These organizations often have event calendars on their websites listing upcoming cultural activities.

Social media is another excellent resource. Follow pages or groups related to Indigenous culture in your city or province. These platforms often share events, updates, and other community news. Event platforms like Eventbrite might also host information on upcoming powwows or cultural gatherings.

Engaging with Your School Community

Many universities, colleges, and trades schools in Canada recognize the importance of Indigenous cultures and offer resources to support Indigenous students. Reach out to your school’s Indigenous Students’ Centre or similar bodies. They often organize cultural events or can guide you to local happenings.

Similarly, if your school has an Indigenous studies program, connect with them. These programs often have strong ties to the local Indigenous community and can be a rich source of information on cultural events.

Visiting Local Indigenous Community Centres

Indigenous community centres or Friendship Centres are hubs of cultural activities. Visit your local centre, introduce yourself, and inquire about upcoming events. Many centres host powwows, cultural workshops, and community gatherings, providing a welcoming space for Indigenous peoples.

Connecting with Elders

Elders are an invaluable source of wisdom and knowledge about Indigenous traditions and events. If you have successfully connected with an Elder, they can guide you to local cultural gatherings. This interaction can also foster a deeper understanding of the cultural significance behind these events.


Networking is a powerful tool for finding local events. Attend the events you discover, meet people, and ask about other events. Building relationships within your local Indigenous community can often lead to personal invitations to gatherings and powwows.

Reading Local Media

Local newspapers, radio stations, or community bulletins often feature upcoming community events. Look for sections dedicated to community happenings, arts, and culture. Indigenous-specific media outlets are also a rich source of information.

Respecting Cultural Protocols

While finding and attending these events, remember to respect cultural protocols. Not all events may be open to the public, and some may have specific guidelines for attendees. Understand the purpose of the event, follow the guidance of the organizers, and participate respectfully.

Finding local cultural events like powwows can deepen your connection to your Indigenous heritage and provide a supportive community in your new city. It’s an opportunity to engage with your culture, meet like-minded individuals, and enrich your post-secondary experience. Immerse yourself in these vibrant expressions of Indigenous cultures, and let them fill your new city with the familiar rhythms of home.

Chelsea Reid Headshot

Paige Hill

Mentorship Advocate, Indspire

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