2017-08-17 / Front Page

Hessel Powwow Begins This Friday

By Debra Petkus

A jiingtamok, or pow wow, is “the gathering” of Native American people, according to John Causley, who is the spiritual helper for the upcoming 25th Gathering of the Eagles Pow Wow from Friday, August 18, through Sunday, August 20, on the grounds next to the Hessel Kewadin Casino.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Causley will light the fire that begins all such gatherings, at the longhouse on the pow wow grounds. The fire will burn until the pow wow comes to an end Sunday evening.

“It has our medicines: tobacco, sage, cedar, and sweet grass,” Mr. Causley said. “At our pow wows, we get together with traders and dancers and celebrate our Anishinaabe culture. We welcome the public in. We want the non-native to see what we do, to show off what we’ve done.”

It’s a good time to see women in their jingle dresses and men in their regalia.

Friday events will include a talking circle around 3 p.m. and a potluck afterwards. The public is invited to both. In a talking circle, people can hear and exchange dialogue and stories.

Grand entries for the dancers will be held at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday.

“Our dancing is one of the most important parts of the powwow,” Mr. Causley said. “We go into that circle to honor our creator.”

It’s a sacred time, he said, so much so that the master of ceremonies may ask visitors to not take photos at certain times. Another announcement will be made when it’s all right to photograph.

As spiritual helper, Mr. Causley will “make sure everything is done out of respect to our culture,” he said.

This includes making sure no animals come into the circle. If a feather drops from a dancer’s ceremonial gear, all will all stop and pay respects, as this means “a veteran has fallen, has passed away,” he said. There will be a small ceremony and then the dancing will resume.

Native American vendors will have items for sale. The host drum is Mukkwa Glizhik but other drums are welcome, as are dancers, Mr. Causley said. There will be a feast meal Saturday at 5 p.m. It will include fish, venison, rice, and wild berries. An elder raffle drawing will be held Sunday.

The head male dancer is Jody Gaskin, fire keeper is Andrew Causley, arena director is Butch Van Ellen, and head veteran is Gene Reid.

For more information, call Mr. Causley at 906-430-0830 or Lana Causley-Smith at 906-322-3818.

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