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Dene Games

Dene games are tests of physical and mental skill that were originally used by the Dene (northern Athabascan peoples) to prepare for the hunting and fishing seasons, and to provide entertainment. Today, Dene games (e.g., Finger Pull and Hand Games) are still played in many schools and community centres in the North as a means of preserving tradition and culture. As competitive sports, Dene games are also featured in various national and international athletic competitions, including the Arctic Winter Games.

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Feast of the Dead

The Feast of the Dead was held by the Huron whenever a large village shifted location, about every 10-15 years. The bodies of all those who had not died violent deaths were removed from their temporary tombs and buried in a common ossuary - a deep pit lined with beaver robes.

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History of Powwows

While the exact origin of the powwow is unknown, these celebrations were adopted and adapted by various Indigenous communities across North America throughout the 20th century.

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Innu Nikamu

An annual festival of traditional and contemporary Indigenous music, featuring hunters and musicians from Québec.

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Potlatch

The potlatch (from the Chinook word Patshatl) is a ceremony integral to the governing structure, culture and spiritual traditions of various First Nations living on the Northwest Coast and in parts of the interior western subarctic. It primarily functions to redistribute wealth, confer status and rank upon individuals, kin groups and clans, and to establish claims to names, powers and rights to hunting and fishing territories.

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Powwow

Powwows are celebrations that showcase Indigenous music, dances, dance apparel, food and crafts. Commonly hosted by First Nations communities (either on reserve or in urban settings), Métis and Inuit also participate in contemporary powwows, and smaller powwows are hosted by educational institutions.

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Powwow Music

Music is a central feature at powwows, as all powwow activities revolve around the beat of the drum and the sounds of the singers’ voices.

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The Doukhobors Arrive in Canada

After a month-long voyage from Russia, the steamship Lake Huron arrived in Halifax harbour on 20 January 1899. On board were 2100 official passengers plus stowaways, the first large group of Doukhobors to immigrate to Canada. Ten passengers had died en route, and many others were ill.

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Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was a secret network of abolitionists who helped African Americans escape from enslavement in the American South to free Northern states or to Canada. It was the largest anti-slavery freedom movement in North America, having brought between 30,000 and 40,000 fugitives to British North America (Canada).