FWFN POW WOW GROUNDS
For thousands of years people have gathered at Anemki Wajiw for traditional ceremonies and to celebrate our rich and vibrant Ojibwe culture. The investment into revitalizing our Pow wow Grounds will help us reinvigorate our culture and provide us with the use of Anemki Wajiw for
events and gatherings year-round.
The Improvements Include:
• Construction of Pow wow Circle
• MC Stand
• Elders Area and Sheltered Area
• Ground Raised to Reduce Water on Dance Area
• State-of-the-Art Lighting,
Audio, Communication and Security Systems Fort William First Nation’s Joint Venture Partnership firm, Oshki-Aki LP led the initiative to manage the concept, design and construction. Oshki-Aki LP was established to assist thecommunity of FWFN in building capacity by providing engineering services both on and off reserve, and throughout Ontario. 100% of the profit from the Joint Venture goes back to the community. Oshki-Aki LP creates employment opportunities for community members while also building important work and technical skills. During the construction of the Pow wow Grounds, 50% of the workforce included FWFN members that were able to secure employment with RML Construction. A notification will be sent to announce the Grand Opening of the Pow wow Grounds.
Oshki-Aki LP Presented Clean, Green & Beautiful Award Recognizing Mount McKay Pow Wow Grounds
April 27, 2015 – The City of Thunder Bay’s Clean, Green and Beautiful Committee presented the annual awards to celebrate organizations and businesses whose building and renovation projects enrich the life of the community through public art, beautification, heritage and environmental greening. Fort William First Nation, Oshki-Aki LP, a joint venture partnership with True Grit Consulting Limited and project partner FORM Architecture Engineering, received the 2015 Public Spaces Award in recognition of Fort William First Nation’s completed Mount McKay Pow Wow Grounds project.
The Mount McKay Pow Wow Grounds hold a significant history for Fort William First Nation, dating back to the early 1930s as a gathering space to celebrate and share culture and heritage. The redesigned and engineered Pow Wow Grounds include an innovative wooden circular structured design mirroring the traditional medicine wheel with four entry points at each of the cardinal points and semi-circular bleachers with a seating capacity for 560 people. The raised centre arbour is a focal point with a sacred fire pit and poured concrete foundation to accommodate a drum circle. The Grounds also include a partially covered Elders area, dedicated accessible seating areas, and a patterned cement walkway stamped with designs by a local artist around the perimeter and open views to the grounds outside it and the natural mountain backdrop.
The circular wooden structure is a new and defined space developed specifically around Pow Wow activities and includes space for drumming and dancing. The entire arena structure was designed with wood. The dimensional lumber used was FSC (Forest Steward Council) cut. The pressure treated wood was treated with a MicroPro preservative system, which is the first treated wood process to be certified under Scientific Certifications Systems Environmental preferred products (EPP). The project also considered Storm Water Management and the grounds were raised to avoid water accumulation problems and drainage off the site.