Local Tribes Share Culture at National Cherry Festival’s Heritage Day Pow-Wow

It’s Heritage Day here at the National Cherry Festival, and a little rain didn’t keep anyone from enjoying this year’s Pow-Wow.

“This event is called a Pow-Wow, I’m sure everybody knows, but it’s a huge social gathering,” says veteran dancer, Al Pedwaydon.

Sponsored by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Native Americans from across the region shared their culture with visitors at the National Cherry Festival.

“This gives us a good avenue especially here at the National Cherry Festival to share our culture they can get a glimpse into the things we do and see how beautiful of a people we are,” says woodland dancer, Bud Day.

From traditional dances like the jingle dance native to the Great Lakes region…

“The jingle dress, the cones you know, it’s the sound, that’s where the healing comes from, through mother earth, through the dancers, and out the cones,” Day said.

To the traditional ragalia worn by the dancers; eagle feathers represent veteran’s like Al Pedwaydon.

“They’re significant because veterans treat these as if they were our fellow veteran. If you drop them on the ground, you have a ceremony to pick them up and dance them up and possibly pass them along to a younger dancer in honor of them,” Pedwaydon said.

And alongside the song and dance is the Wiigwaasmin Pageant.

“Wigwaasman means cherry in our language and we pretty much just wanted an opportunity for the young girls and the young warrior to represent the Cherry Capital,” says Samantha Twocrow, co-founder, Wiigwaasmin Pageant.

It’s a special event, celebrating and sharing Native American culture.

“We all are connected to the earth so no matter where you’re from, that connection we all have whether it’s in Thailand or whether it’s here, we all share this earth so I liked that,” said spectator Karen Reau.

Categories: National Cherry Festival