Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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

HISTORY AND HOPE

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.

CULTURE AND TRADITIONS

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.

COLORS AND CUISINE

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.

 
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