Janelle Golinowski, a member of Mattagami First Nation, will be showcasing her talents as a traditional dancer at the Miss North Ontario Regional Canada Pageant 2014. The 18 year old explained that she is proud yet humble to have been selected to represent her community for the pageant scheduled to be held May 1 to 3 at the Fraser Auditorium, Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario.
“I am really excited to be taking part in this event as an Aboriginal woman. It gives me an opportunity to promote and celebrate our Aboriginal culture and act as a positive role model for other young First Nation women,” said Golinowski.
The Miss North Ontario Regional Canada Pageant is an annual event featuring young women between the ages of 13 to 24. The event was created to help foster personal development in contestants as well as to promote and support charitable organizations and tourism in Northern Ontario.
Golinowski, daughter of Patsy McKay and Dana Golinowski experienced her childhood in Mattagami First Nation. She explained that growing up in her community grounded her in Native traditions and culture.
She is currently attending her final year of high school at Timmins High and Vocational School with plans of continuing on to post secondary education to pursue a career in either the medical field or in engineering. She explained that her older sister Tianna, who has moved on to post secondary education and travelled to Africa, inspired her to set her goals high.
Golinowski commented that she has much respect for Mattagami First Nation Elders as she has benefited by their sharing of Native traditions and culture. Golinowski was introduced to traditional dance through the annual Mattagami First Nation Pow Wow. She started dancing in 2012 through the help and instruction of local Traditional Teacher and Dancer, Dana McKenzie. At the 2013 Mattagami First Nation Pow Wow, Golinowski was honoured with the title of Head Youth Dancer.
“I really enjoy dancing as it is an important way for me to assist in keeping our traditions and cultural past alive,” said Golinowski.
She also takes part in other traditional activities such as hunting, trapping and fishing. Her boyfriend Devon Naveau is the grandson of Elder Leonard Naveau, a prominent leader and traditional Elder in Mattagami First Nation.
“Elder Leonard Naveau is definitely a great role model in my life and I have enjoyed learning from his patient teachings and words of traditional wisdom,” said Golinowski.
Since being selected and accepted into the annual Miss North Ontario Regional Canada Pageant, she has been busy with promotional activities, gathering sponsorships and preparing for the event while completing her regular studies and responsibilities at home.
“We are all so proud of Janelle in representing Mattagami First Nation at this pageant. She is a great role model and proof that things are changing in a very positive way for our young people. She has her feet firmly planted on the ground and has a good understanding of her traditions and culture as an Aboriginal woman,” said Chief Walter Naveau, Mattagami First Nation.
In addition to the crowning of Miss North Ontario Regional Canada, many other award categories are up for grabs for the 46 contestants who will take part. Supporters can vote for Golinowski for the People’s Choice Award through the pageant’s website at: www.missnorthontario.com/MNO-poll2014.html
She is grateful for the support of the following sponsors: Mattagami First Nation, Debastos and Sons, Martin Fuels, Mattagami Confectionery and Gas Bar, Kunuwanimano Child and Family Services, Iam Gold, Lakeshore Gold and Wabun Tribal Council. She is also thankful for the assistance of Chantal Rheault, Graphic Design Artist and photographers Claude J Gagnon and Katelyn Malo. Golinowski has also received direct support and sponsorship from family, friends and the public.
The annual event is a promotional activity for tourism in Northern Ontario as well as an opportunity for fund raising of regional charities. The event is well known for its fund raising efforts for the Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer (NOFCC), an organization that the pageant has supported since 2006.
The pageant event is also an official preliminary to Miss Teen Canada World and Miss Universe Canada.
story by: by Xavier Kataquapit