A 17-year old Saddle Lake girl has been granted one of the most honoured positions for one of the world’s largest powwows.
Tia Wood has been selected as “head young lady dancer” for the Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which begins this Thursday. She’ll be leading all the dancers into the arena on both nights of the event. The organizers are expecting upwards of 70,000 people to attend the gathering, representing over five hundred tribes from across the continent. The first day will feature a beauty pageant with the pow wow taking place over the next two days after that.
It’s been a very difficult path for for Wood to receive this honour. She was involved in a car accident five years ago that left her with multiple fractured ribs, broken vertebrae, a broken pelvis, collapsing lungs and even put her in a coma. She was able to recover though and continue dancing.
Wood plans to send a strong message with her performance. She’s planning a special tribute Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women.