This year's Dakota Days is going to be an emotional event for some.

There was a small-scale event held last year at Dakota Tipi First Nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so they're coming back with a jam-packed weekend of events. Councillor Kyle Pashe says It feels great to be able to hold this event.

"Having an event like this is vital for bringing (people) back and getting them used to things, enjoying time together, and also spending time together," he says. "So we're using this as a healing event for our people."

The event begins Wednesday and runs until Sunday. The festivities include everything from movie nights to golf tournaments, a powwow, and even a strong man competition. Jamie Mousseau, owner of The Moose Strongman Equipment and Rental, built the equipment used in th event with the help of his father. 

Pashe says the events are split into two categories, for the public and residents of Dakota Tipi.

"For the community only, we know that a lot of our children cannot receive the vaccine, but again, children 12 and up can receive it. It's an event to protect our younger kids and our elders from this virus," says Pashe. "I know Dakota Tipi does have a high vaccination rate, so we're asking our members and guests to be double vaccinated when they come to our public events."

Events available to the public include the powwow, a comedy night featuring Conway K, known as SmudgePan, alongside a Friday concert featuring Ernest Monias, Lucien Spence, Leonard Sumner, and more. Pashe explains the history of the Dakota Days.

"We know that other First Nations celebrate their treaty days and, for Dakotas, we never signed the treaty. What we wanted to do was acknowledge and celebrate our sovereignty of not signing the treaty and celebrating being Dakota," he says. "We're also teaching culture, teaching our language, teaching our history, and celebrating as a community."

For more information on the event, head to the Dakota Tipi Facebook page.