Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s powwow to run this weekend

Kevin Bunch
Shirley Tipkey of Port Huron prepares to take part in a dance during the 2012 Honoring Saganing powwow.
Kevin Bunch
The crew setting up for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s powwow take a break for a quick photo under the arbor. Pictured are Jonathon Ayling, Dan Jackson, Dan McCurry, and Mike Hunt. According to Elder’s Advocate Lisa Peters, the arbor will have a dreamcatcher designed onto it once completed.

STANDISH TWP. — The fifth annual Honoring Saganing Powwow takes place June 15-16, and Lisa Peters, Elder’s Advocate for the tribe, said it is on track to be larger than ever.

The powwow’s gates will open at 10 a.m. at the Saganing powwow grounds next to the tribal center. The event is running until sundown both days, with the grand entry of traditional dancers and drummers set for 1 p.m. each day.

Peters said the powwow began as a way for the tribe to showcase their culture to the broader community “beyond the casino gaming,” adding that their culture comes first. Since then, the powwow has grown ever larger.

“We’ve went from having 800 people for the weekend to 2,500,” Peters said.

One area that has grown, Peters said, has been the drummers. Initially starting with only three, the number has expanded to 10, including hand drummers, who play handheld drums. Peters said a drumming contest is set for Sunday, where those drummers will be judged on rhythm, singing, keeping the beat, and originality.

“Some of them make up their own songs,” she said.

The tribe has about 20 vendors lined up for the powwow this year. Peters said they are primarily traditional vendors. Some are providing services, such as funerary services, for Native Americans attending the powwow, while others will be selling traditional items or food.

“We’ll have fry bread,” Peters said. “We have this strawberry shortcake made with the fry bread, it’s really good.”

Admission costs are $3 daily or $5 for both days for adults, or $1 for children.


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