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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich  — On Saturday afternoon, the 42nd “Homecoming of the Three Fires” Powwow’s grand entry began under sunny skies along the shores of the Owashtanong, known now as the Grand River, at Riverside Park just north of downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. 

Named for the three tribes, Ojibwe (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottawa), and Bodéwadmi (Potawaomi), that made what is now Michigan their home before the arrival of Europeans. Today thousands of Native Ameircans, who live in West Michigan, are part of the three tribes that are referred to as the People of the Three Fires.

Traditional black ash baskets by Nancy White Pigeon Krogmann (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation)

The two-day powwow features drumming and dancing in the dance arena. Various booths sell Native American fare, such as Indian tacos, fry bread, wild rice soup, and rainbow trout. Also, vendors sell Native American items, such as black ash baskets, beaded jewelry and ribbon skirts. 

The powwow is sponsored by the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians, state recognized tribe, located in Grand Rapids. Co-sponsors are the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan (Gun Lake Tribe) and the City of Grand Rapids.

The Homecoming of the Three Fires continues on Sunday, with grand entry beginning at 12 noon and ends at 5 pm.

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Levi Rickert
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Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].