- By Tamara Ikenberg
This weekend and next week, Indian Country is hopping with shopping opportunities, community Powwows, and traveling totem poles.
Explore Native News Online’s event guide to pick and choose which happenings happen to appeal to your sense of art, adventure and amusement.
WHEN: Through Aug. 3
WHERE: Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts and Culture Center, 603 Peace Pipe Road, Lac du Flambeau, Wis.
Tuesday Powwows have resumed at the recently renovated Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts and Culture Center on the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation.
Last year’s hiatus was a break in a long tradition.
“We’ve been doing this every summer since the 50s in Lac du Flambeau,” Powwow director Michelle Reed (Ojibwe) told Native News Online. “It was created as a way of doing shows for tourists and a way for our community members to make extra money in the summer.”
Reed added that on occasion, the Tuesday Powwows are rained out and become Thursday Powwows. They’ve already made the adjustment a couple times this season.
Reed (Ojibwe) describes the weekly events as mini Powwows. The abbreviated versions are still major events attracting observers from all over the world, and feature dancers from Lac du Flambeau and more area reservations.
“It is a little bit different than a regular Powwow, but we do follow a very similar structure,” Reed said. “We add our traditional dances as well. So it's not just strictly Powwow dancing.”
Reed provided a taste of what Powwow-goers can expect.
“Our doors open at 6, and when you come in, we have a snack bar and art and food vendors. At 6:30 we have an opening act, which is normally a hoop dancer, followed by one of our community members. Then at 7 we do our grand entry,” she said. “Our veterans group brings in the flags, and then the head dancers bring the dancers in, and it's men, women and children of all ages, down to our little tiny tots. Then we have our opening prayer, our veteran’s song, and our flag song. Then we'll go into our sneak-up, dance where everybody dances and that's also typical of a Great Lakes area Powwow. And then after that, we do one of our more traditional dances.”
Attending the Tuesday Powwows also puts visitors in the perfect position to absorb more Ojibwe culture.
“We have a museum that is right there at the Bowl that's open and available for people to visit and learn about us,” Reed said. “We have a lot of our traditional artwork in there and there's a gift shop. We definitely want people to come and visit our community.”
Apsaalooke Community Market
WHEN: Saturday, July 10, 17 and 24 , 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
WHERE: Crow Agency, Montana, Junction of 190 and Highway 212; Market Facebook page
Budding Crow photographer Johnna Joelle explores the hidden corners of Crow Country to present a full picture of her home.
“I do a lot of going out into the rural areas of the reservation; going to places nobody really goes to and nobody knows about,” Joelle told Native News Online. “I really like taking beautiful pictures out there. This is our home and we should be proud of it.”
Joelle’s landscape photography and the work of many more Crow makers and artists pack the tables at the outdoor Apsaalooke Community Market, taking place in Crow Agency Montana every Saturday through July 24.
The market, designed to support the makers of Crow Country and acquaint visitors with the tribe’s traditions and talents, is presented by Plenty Doors Community Development Corporation, which promotes cultural and economic development in Crow Country.
Some items, like Cedar Rose Bulltail’s healing handmade ointments and balms with cedar, sage and yarrow, reflect the Crow connection with the land, while others, like Mona Medicine Crow’s colorful hand-painted cross-body medicine bags, are unique and functional takes on traditional artwork.
For Joelle, who is making her market debut this year, taking part is a priceless opportunity to promote her photography.
“It’s not that big of a risk to set up at the market and get my pictures out there. it's a really good starting point for me,” she said. ‘People come to get a chance to support our local Native vendors and get a feel for what everybody has to offer.”
Native POP: People of the Plains - A Gathering of Arts and Culture
WHEN: Saturday, July 10, 8 a.m.
WHERE: Main Street Square, Rapid City, South Dakota, nativepop.org
After a year without one of the Plains’ premiere events, artists are bursting with excitement to participate in this year’s Native POP juried Indigenous art show and cultural celebration.
“I haven’t been to a show in 16 months! I’m very excited to go to my favorite show and see everyone. I do it every year and it’s one of my best shows,” Oglala Sioux glass tile mosaic artist Angela Babby told Tribal Business News and Native News Online. “It’s a small show with really high quality artists. It’s such an intimate setting. You really get to talk to pretty much everybody. I do other shows where it’s impossible to have good talks with people because the shows are too big.”
Themed “Oyate Ki Zanniyan Unpi--Our People Live in Good Health,” the show will contain tributes to those affected by COVID-19, and also includes a film festival, fashion show, presentations from Culture Bearers, and performances including Polynesian dancing from Polynesian Productions.
Native POP, which debuted in 2014, accepts artists from all state and federally recognized American Indian tribes, with a preference for artists from Plains tribes. The show attracts about 50 artists and 5,000 visitors each year.
This year’s roster of artists also includes Delle Bighair-Stump (Crow), Emil Her Many Horses (Oglala Lakota), Una Lee Howe (Cheyenne River Sioux), Susan Hudson (Navajo), Terran Last Gun (Blackfeet), and Marty Red Bear (Oglala/Sicangu).
"Whale People: Protectors of the Sea": Outdoor Exhibition & IMAX-Style Film (#Red Road to DC)
WHEN: Saturday, July 10, 8 p.m.
The House of Tears Carvers of Lummi Nation take the symbolic power of totem poles to a new level.
For twenty years, they have been creating totems and accompanying them on country-spanning journeys to raise awareness for a variety of issues impacting Indian Country.
This year, they are transporting a pole titled The Red Road totem pole, from the Pacific Northwest to Washington D.C. to draw attention to the protection of sacred sites. And last year, they took an orca pole on a trek to raise awareness for the protection of the Salish Sea and more environmental issues.
This Saturday, both totems will be honored during “Whale People: Protectors of the Sea,” a ceremony, outdoor exhibition and film screening at the Vashon Island Heritage Museum in Vashon, Washington.
The opening program features speakers, drummers, song, and blessings around the House of Tears Carver's orca pole and the Red Road totem pole that will be transported to DC this Summer.
Following that, participants will experience an immersive exhibition and film installation narrated by the late Chief Tsilixw Bill James of the Lummi Nation, Lummi Master Carver Jewell James, and Amy Ta’ah George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation, that tells the story of how Native Nation leaders fight to protect the Salish Sea, the orcas, the salmon, and the collective future.
50th Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale
WHEN: Through July 31
WHERE: Cherokee Springs Plaza, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, https://visitcherokeenation.com/trail-of-tears-art-show
Cherokee National Treasure Vivian Cottrell wants to remind the world that Indigenous people are tough enough to endure any pandemic or tragedy in the past, present or future.
Cottrell, who has been weaving for half a century, worked her own resilience and talent into “We Are Still Here,“ a black ash basket that just took the top award at the 50th Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale, the longest-running Native American art show and competition in Oklahoma.
“There’s a lot of prayer that goes into my work, and this piece is no different,” Cottrell said in a statement. “ It was the first one of the year for me, coming out of the pandemic, and I wanted to push myself to create something that represents the strength and resilience of Native people across the country who were being affected by the virus at disproportionate rates. There’s several meaningful patterns incorporated into the basket, but at the end of the day, it’s all about us being connected to one another for our survival.”
This year’s show features a wide selection of paintings, pottery, sculpture and more from 73 artists, representing 10 tribal nations. Among the other show award winners this year are Cherokee basketmakers Lisa Forrest and Renee Hoover and Cherokee jewelry makers Steven Morales and Jennie Wilson.
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