Pow wows give First Nations people an opportunity to carry on traditions and pay homage to their ancestors.
One youth dancer who is new to the practice says the summer pow wows can turn into a summer hobby as well.
Nigel Kaiswatum, 19, of Piapot, Sask. has been dancing for about four years and says he is finding himself getting more and more involved in the area's pow wow 'circuit'.
In 2011, he participated in over 20 pow wows across the prairies and upper United States.
But Kaiswatum isn't alone in his travels as he says it is commonplace for many First Nations people to frequent the circuit to participate in various pow wows.
"A lot of people travel around to the pow wows, a lot of my family travels around to them, too," Kaiswatum explains. "It's pretty good too because everyone bumps into each other a few times so it's a good way to get to know other people and know your fellow communities. It's a good way to bring all of the people together."
While it's not likely for one dancer to hit every pow wow on the circuit, it can keep them highly occupied and give participants an opportunity to travel much of the plains areas, as it includes stops in the connected states and provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.
Dancers can also use the circuit to act as a summer job. In some cases all dancers get some money for participation in each pow wow.
Those who join in the competitive dances – which can judge dancers on their ability and outfit, amongst other aspects – can see big paydays with first place winners sometimes seeing up to $5,000 purses while second place winners could win similar amounts, depending on the pow wow location.
Aside from the competitive dances, participants join in inter-tribal traditional dances where all dance for the celebration and heritage rather than judging.
The dances help promote the community feeling as well as give participants an opportunity to benefit from what they are doing.
"I do the grass dance, it's a healing dance. It helps me feel better for myself," Kaiswatum explains, noting different dances have different purposes. "If I'm not dancing for myself I'm dancing for someone else passed on.
"All dances are a good way to bring the people together to honour those who have accomplished many things."
Seeing very young dancers participate in pow wows is a growing trend as well, Kaiswatum says, and it's something welcomed by a First Nations community that prides itself in passing on its heritage through practice and word of mouth.
Tiny Tots, Juniors and Teens categories are now a mainstay at pow wows.
Singing and drumming contests are also regularly held at events, as are tributes to First Nations veterans and tribal elders.