Gun Lake Tribal Chairman D.K. Sprague (left) Head Veteran Dancer George Martin (right) lead Grand Entry
HOPKINS, MICHIGAN – The inaugural Sweet Grass Moon Powwow hosted by the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Pottawatomi (Gun Lake Tribe) and the Tribe’s non-profit cultural program, the Jijak Foundation, kicked off today under beautiful blue skies in Hopkins, Michigan.
“I am kind of loss for words. People have been asking me when we would have a powwow. I would tell them, ‘when it’s time!’ Well, it’s time to have a powwow,” said an excited D.K. Sprague, tribal chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe, to the crowd after Grand Entry.
Several hundred people were on hand as the Grand Entry took place on Saturday afternoon.
The powwow is being held at the foundation’s Jijak Camp, located about half way between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.
“It is nice to gather on Potawatomi land and I am thankful,” stated Tribal Elder Lorraine “Punkin” Shannaquet, who is chairing to committee who is hosting the powwow this weekend.
Recently constructed amenities at Camp Jijak include: an open-air dance arena; traditional sugarhouse for maple syrup production; gardens with rare Native crops; and other resources at the regional education center.
The camp has a lake where children can swim under the watchful eye of three certified life guards.
The powwow continues tomorrow from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. Gates open at 9:00 a.m.
Native News Online photos by Levi Rickert