posted October 15, 2009

Fifth Annual Pow Wow Highlights Pink Shawl Project

"Honoring the Pink Shawl" is the theme of the Holland Pow Wow, the area's fifth annual traditional pow wow, which will be held at the Hope College DeVos Fieldhouse on Saturday, Oct. 24.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The pow wow will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Highlights will include the Grand Entry at 1 p.m. and a native storyteller, sponsored by the Holland Museum, at 3 p.m.

Presented by the Anishnabek of West Michigan, the pow wow is scheduled in a spirit of reconciliation and is a family event open to attendance by all peoples.  The pow wow will feature authentic Native American dancers in regalia, Native singers and drummers, along with Native American-made jewelry and other goods for sale. There will be a concession featuring native food. The event's planning committee anticipates participants from throughout Michigan.

To promote this year's theme of "Honoring the Pink Shawl," there will be informational booths and displays by local health agencies throughout the day.  The Pink Shawl Project is a grass-roots movement, initiated originally by Lorraine "Punkin" Shananaquet, a community health representative at the Health Department of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi, Gun Lake Tribe. It is becoming a nationwide movement. The purpose of the pink shawl is to use traditional Native symbols, such as a woman's shawl, to promote breast health awareness.

Native storyteller Larry Plamondon is being sponsored by the HollandMuseum, and will present at 3 p.m.  Plamondon, of Cloverdale, is a member of the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians.  He is the author of a self-published memoir, "Lost from the Ottawa: The Story of the Journey Back."

Those with leading roles during the pow wow will include George Marting, head veteran; Bill Memberto, master of ceremonies; David Shananaquet, arena director; Kelvin Dan, head male dancer; Punkin Shananaqet, head female dancer; and Sons of the Three Fires, host drum.

Dances presented during the pow wow will include the Northern Traditional Men's Dance, the Northern Traditional Women's Dance, the Traditional Men's Grass Dance, the Traditional Women's Jingle Dance, the Fancy Dance for men, the Fancy Dance for women and intertribal dances for all peoples.

The Native Americans of the area refer to all Indians as Anishnabek people and themselves as the People of the Three Fires, also known as the Ottawa (Odawa), Chippewa (Ojibwe) and Potawatomi (Bodewatomi). The pow wow has been planned by a gathering committee representing members of the West Michigan Native community and other Native Americans living in the area.

Multiple programs at Hope are among the sponsors for the pow wow.  In addition to Hope, the pow wow's sponsors include several native tribes of Michigan, the Gannet Foundation, and the city of Holland.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.