Fall 2011 |
Every September, on the grounds where Ponca Chief Standing Bear once awaited trial,
the Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow is held. This year's event marks the 20th
anniversary of the powwow and honoring Native peoples from around the region, their
customs and history. Nearly 400 native artists participate in the traditional dance,
music, storytelling and foods on the Fort Omaha Campus of MCC annually.
Following native tradition, an elder opens and closes the Powwow in prayer, spoken
in English and in native language. Native vendors display their beautiful works of art
as well as crafts and goods to sell, while educating and promoting the rich tradition
surrounding the items. Demonstrations, games and study circles are held throughout the
day and all are invited to attend.
Preceding the Powwow on Saturday, Sept. 24, the Dreams of Eagles and Omaha Public
Schools will offer 4,000 fourth graders the opportunity to take field trips
concentrating on Native American culture. The students participate in hands-on
activities and learning stations such as leather, jewelry, paintings, clothing, herbs
and medicine, dance and language to help them further their understanding of the
A crowd favorite and long-time tradition of the Intertribal Powwow is the crowning
of the Powwow Princess. Future Princess candidates must be female, between the ages of
12 and 18, be in school, be unmarried and have no children and be in full regalia at
the event. Candidates are required to fill out an application with general information
and have commitment from the family to participate in upcoming events if selected. A
personal interview is conducted by the judges during the powwow with questions such as
motivation to serve as princess, understanding of her cultural background and the
significance of the princess as a role model. The candidates are called into the powwow
arena to introduce themselves to the crowd and share a few brief comments. Finally,
the candidates demonstrate their dance skills to the beat of a host drum while the
judges keep score. Then the crowd and family members of the princess candidates await
the suspense-filled announcement by the Master of Ceremonies who identifies the
selected princess. The reigning Intertribal Powwow Princess, Lisa Ebert of the
Northern Ponca tribe, will crown the new princess at this year's event.
This year, the Powwow and MCC will host a very special performer, Kevin Locke.
Locke is known throughout the world as a visionary Hoop Dancer, preeminent player of
the indigenous North Plains flute, traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador,
recording artist and educator. His performance is at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Please join MCC and the Native American community on the historic Fort Omaha Campus
on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, from 1 to 7:30 p.m. In case of inclement weather on the
Powwow date, call (402) 457-2499 for cancellation information. Bring your own chairs
to set up on the grounds. Food and craft vendors will be available. There is no alcohol
allowed on the premises.