Pokagon Band expands annual Pow Wow for tribes and local communities
Labor Day weekend marks the 31st annual Kee-Boon-Mein Kaa Pow Wow. This annual Pow Wow is hosted by the Pokagon Band of Potwatami Indians, and is open to tribes across the country, as well as the public.
This year's Pow Wow is comprised of approximately 500 dancers and drummers, almost double the number of people from last year. Indian tribes from across the country arrived to showcase dance and music skills, as well as crafting abilities.
Pow Wow committee member, Marcus Winchester, says "as Indian people we always celebrate and always invite people into our community. And today, we're celebrating the end of the huckleberry season, and so were inviting everyone to celebrate with us."
One of the main reasons for opening the Pow Wow up to the public, is to educate others on Indian culture.
John Pigeon comes from a family of basket makers. They are vendors at the Pow Wow, and show off their craft that has been past down from generation to generation. But Pigeon believes that everyone should have the opportunity to learn this tradition.
"I was raised, that whoever whats to learn needs to learn." He adds, "So that's how I was taught from my dad, and it really doesn't matter if your Indian or non-Indian. If you're willing to learn, I'm willing to teach."
Greg Morsaw is the head dancer at the Pow Wow. He also believes that this is a useful tool to teach others about the culture. "We're not just about casinos and gaming," he says. "We're also about our culture and teachings and putting on this type of event, so people can be educated on our culture."