Share This:

Ethnic edification amplifies perspective of non-Native students during annual affair

Observer Staff

1/25/2005 12:00:00 AM

Over 1,500 area students learned about the Native American culture during a district-wide powwow on the Isabella Reservation.

The annual event, which took place April 14 and 15, was coordinated by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe's Education Department to foster a better understanding.

Workshops offered to students included regalia, crafts, storytelling, language and true colors. Two other workshops addressed what it means to wear moccasins and everything you wanted to know about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, but were afraid to ask.

"We had fun learning some of the Ojibwe language and eating Indian tacos," stated Liberty Tice, a third grader at Renaissance Public School Academy.

Shepherd Public Schools seventh grader Kyle Foltz was crafty when asked what he enjoyed the most.

"I really like the regalia and the hand crafts of beading," he said.

The powwow began with a traditional flag ceremony with the Anishnabe Ogitchedaw Veterans and Warrior Society posting the colors. Song for the event was provided by High Spirit, Medicine Lodge and Mkinaakoonsag. Seventh Generation Cultural Representative Kent Jackson offered prayer.

"The district-wide powwow is an excellent opportunity for area students to learn about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan," stated Public Relations Director Joe Sowmick, who hosted the "everything you wanted to know" workshop. "The annual event, centered around the powwow, blends cultural workshops, food and fun. It is truly an honor for the Tribe to be able to host this event in an effort to help create a better understanding. The kids were very receptive to the information and activities presented to them."

The End of the Year Powwow is slated for May 7 in the Tribal Gymnasium.