This year’s theme for the Black Hills Pow Wow in Rapid City, S.D., this weekend is “Honoring the Four Generations, Strong Lakota Women, Mending the Sacred Hoop” and Rock Hill will serve as the host drum. (Enjoy their video from the Sakicawasihk Pow Wow in Canada.)
“Last year was our first time attending the Black Hills Pow Wow,” the group’s Robert Whitehead Jr. of Yellow Quill, Saskatchewan, tells the Rapid City Journal. “We came down to enjoy ourselves, we sang hard, sang for the people and were awarded with a first-place victory. We are very honored that the committee invited us back to serve as the 2009 Black Hills Pow Wow host drum.”
The powwow will be huge, with even more nations attending than last year’s 57, says Dixie Holy Eagle, president of the Black Hills Pow Wow Association.
In addition to the usual competitions among dancers, drummers and singers, there will be a poster contest, softball tournament and the He Sapa Style Show.
And, says Holy Eagle, “the skateboard tournament should be big this year. We have professional skaters from around the country coming.
Whitehead says he’s looking forward to comparing Native life in Canada versus life in the United States, which he sees as not that different.
“In speaking with our friends across the border, we have found that we do have more rights in Canada, as opposed to our American friends,” Whitehead says. “Rights such as a paid education and living allowance for students, medical care, we have yet to experience huge feather raids as the U.S. has. Anywhere you go, it is a struggle to be First Nation. Unless you have an education to back your thoughts, it is almost impossible to be heard.”
To read more of Whitehead’s comments, and for a full schedule of events, see the Rapid City Journal story, here.