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ALLENDALE, Mich. — The sounds of bells on ankles were heard as dancers prepared for the powwow mixed the arouma of Indian frybread being prepared, as parents assisted put finishing touches on their children's regalia, in the fieldhouse on Saturday. Shortly after 1 p.m. the 22nd Annual Celebrating All Walks of Life Powwow was underway at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan, near Grand Rapids, this weekend.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the first time the powwow has been held since 2019 at GVSU.

"It was nice to see the return of the powwow after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. To welcome back and to celebrate with our community is exciting," Lin Bardwell (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), assistant director in GVSU’s  Office of Multicultural Affairs, said.

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Shannon Martin

Shannon Martin (Potawatomi/Ojibwe) served as the emcee. She guided attendees to the powwow etiquitte throughout the powwow. 


                                          Native News Online's reporter, Neely Bardwell (Odawa), is a fancy shawl dancer.

For Om Mohapatra, an Asain Indian, Saturday's event was his first powwow he ever attended. A student at Lansing Community College, he attended with his girlfriend, who is Odawa.

“Being a first generation immigrant raised separated from my culture and values, it was very cool for me to experience my girlfriend's culture, something she is extremely passionate about. I was impressed not only by the dances, but also the crafts that the vendors had to sell. As soon as I walked in, I felt welcome and not out of place whatsoever.”  Mohapatra said to Native News Online.
“Everything was so colorful and it reminded me of cultural events from my own religion and culture," Mohapatra continued. 
The powwow continues on Sunday at the Grand Valley State University Fieldhouse on the Allendale campus. Grand Entry is at 12 noon - EDT.


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About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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].