Team Observer was on location June 17 at the Saganing Traditional Powwow grounds as At-Large/Members Services staff joined with SECR and Saganing Eagles Lansing Maintenance crews in preparation for the June 18 and 19 event. Tribal Chief Frank Cloutier provided some sweat equity and went shoulder to shoulder with the volunteers who constructed the powwow arbor.
“The At-Large/Member Services staff get more creative every year and they do as much as they can with as little as they get for this traditional powwow. They deserve to be commended for a lot of the work they do behind the scenes,” Cloutier said. “Saganing Eagles Landing Maintenance crew did a lot of the heavy lifting with their resources and staff. The properties facility crews working with the Saganing Outreach Center employees are absolutely amazing and they have done everything we have asked them to do and they work until the job is done.”
Chief Cloutier also thanked the hard work that the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Maintenance crew did for the Saganing Traditional Powwow grounds. “Their crews made the drive over from Mount Pleasant with their machinery to set the cedar poles and provide their expertise and we are truly thankful.”
French Foreign exchange student Paul Guffond is staying with Chief Cloutier during the summer and was honored to participate in the arbor building. “This was pretty good to be a part of because I learned there’s a big tradition that goes around it with the cedar trees. I learned why we put it on the roof of the arbor and how it is done in a ceremonial way to protect the drummers as they send the music to the ancestors,” Guffond said. “The process was full of history and I found it fascinating how the Native people are attached to it. I like the process because it shows a link from the eldest to the youngest in how it was constructed.”
The Saganing Traditional Powwow Grand Entry starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 18 and continues throughout the weekend with fireworks schedule for dusk. The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe dancers will also take part in the downtown Pinconning Cheesy Parade with Chief Cloutier and SCIT Public Relations Director Erik Rodriguez Saturday at 11 a.m.
A full story on the Saganing Traditional Powwow, Cheesy Parade, Arbor Building and the Mac and Cheese Contest will be featured in the July issue of the Team Observer.