Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Homecoming Pow Wow Celebrates...
. . . .

Homecoming Pow Wow Celebrates Veterans

23 years of bringing Odawa culture closer to the community

Kristi Kates - August 11th, 2014  

Every year, the Odawa people--along with members of other Indian nations and their non-Native neighbors--gather to honor their own at the Odawa Homecoming Pow Wow. This year, a new layer of meaning will be added to the celebration as the Odawa pay respects to all veterans and warriors, enhancing the event that brings northern Michigan’s unique cultures closer together.


This year’s theme of “Honoring Our Veterans and Warriors” is “just one way that the Pow Wow Committee hopes to honor all veterans for their service and dedication,” says Festival Chair Annette VanDeCar. A Veterans Dance Special will ask all veterans, Native and non-Native, to participate in the ritual, and a token of appreciation will be given to these brave men and women after the dance.

VanDeCar enjoys the Pow Wow every year and credits this to its role as a strong reaffirmation of the tribe’s rich history. In a country that doesn’t always remember to honor our Native Americans, the Pow Wows are an important reminder of America’s first residents, and how preserving their history is a necessity.


The Pow Wow itself comes from rich 20th century traditions. From the 1930s to the 1960s, Indian Naming Ceremonies and Hiawatha pageants were regular events and served as precursors, of sorts, to the Pow Wow of today, said VanDeCar.

“The Naming Ceremonies were held to honor those who helped Native people and their causes,” she explained. “At these ceremonies, non-Native people were ‘adopted’ into the tribe and given Indian names. After the end of the naming, a yearly production of the play Hiawatha was performed by Native people in the area.”

The events continued to expand into the 90s, and in 1992, the First Annual Odawa was held at the Ottawa Stadium in Harbor Springs. The Pow Wow is now a yearly festival held at the Little Traverse Bay Band Pow Wow Grounds on Pleasantview Road in Harbor Springs. This year, the August 9 and 10 festival provides a continuing opportunity for Native people to preserve and share their culture and traditions with each other and with the community at large.


The Pow Wow is a delicious feast for the senses with brilliant colors, embroidery, feathers, and beading embellishing the Native regalia (the formal term for the dancer’s clothing.) Rich smells of native foods scent the air, and the atmosphere is alive with music, the sound of drumbeats, and the sharing of stories and Native lore. Dance and drum competitions showcase the considerable talent shared by young and old alike and provide a wonderful access point for all visitors.

“Some of the songs sung by the drum groups are very old and are passed down from generation to generation,” VanDeCar said, “and the dance styles have been performed by dancers for centuries.”

VanDeCar points out that anyone can participate in many of the activities, whether they are Native American or just wish to learn more about this vibrant culture.

“I would encourage the public to participate in an intertribal dance,” she suggested. “Intertribal dances are a chance for everyone to dance regardless of whether they are in regalia or not, and anyone can participate, which brings the community together.”

VanDeCar also suggests that the public try some of the Native cuisine for sale at the event.

A typical menu might be fry bread, Indian tacos, blanket dogs, buffalo and hamburgers on fry bread, corn soup and hominy soup, as well as other Native foods.

“What I look forward to is our community getting together to continue our culture, our traditions, and our language,” VanDeCar said. “These are the things that make us unique as Odawa.”

The 23rd Annual Odawa Homecoming Pow Wow will take place August 9-10 at the LTBB Pow Wow Grounds in Harbor Springs. For directions, events, and more info, visit http://odawahomecoming.weebly.com, or call 231-242-1427.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5