The second annual high school powwow took place Friday at Kinsmen Arena in Kitchener.

Over 1,000 students from every public high school in Waterloo Region were in attendance.

The day featured a flag ceremony and traditional drumming and dancing.

Students, both indigenous and non-indigenous, were asked to participate.

Victoria Young, an indigenous student from Huron Heights Secondary School, believes events like this give her peers a better understanding of her culture.

"A lot of the First Nations you see on TV are very stereotypical, this is the real thing and it's very different than what you think it would be.”

Organizers of the powwow say reaching young people and educating them on indigenous culture is a key to reconciliation.

“It was really the education system that got us into this mess, and it will be education that gets us out of it, so by understanding our culture at a younger age, they are able to go into their professional lives understanding indigenous people, so things from the past don’t happen again,” said Nicole Robinson, equality and inclusion officer with Waterloo Region District School Board.

In addition to the ceremonial events there was also lacrosse, arts and craft vendors and information booths from several local indigenous organizations.