When the sun rose on St. Joseph’s campus on Saturday, September 15, there was something different in the air – a different energy.
How could there not be? As students rushed here and there in preparation for St. Joseph’s 42nd Annual Powwow, you could see the anticipation on their faces and the excitement radiating from their very beings.
Josette, a St. Joseph’s ninth grade student, couldn’t wait to dance in her regalia at the wacipi – powwow.
“It gives me joy and I’m proud because I dance for elders and those who can’t,” she said.
Alyssa, dancer St. Joseph’s sixth grade student, described similar feelings.
“I feel like I’m a beautiful butterfly dancing with the thunder being,” she said. “It feels amazing.”
And amazing it was. It was amazing because the student dancers were able to express their culture with their presence and voices. It was amazing because parents, friends and donors could learn from them and the meaning behind the dance and songs. It was amazing that a crowd of more than 500 could share a single moment together – to celebrate that the Native American culture is alive and well.
Grown men may learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure, and therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss. – Black Elk
Although dance takes center stage during powwow, there’s so much more going on that brings people together. With powwow comes an introduction to new friends, family and food – there’s a feeling of connectedness.
This happens during many of the cultural events during powwow weekend. With assistance from St. Joseph’s students and staff, supporters created dreamcatchers, observed traditional Lakota hand games, tasted fry bread, toured campus classrooms and homes, learned about our new equine therapy program and attended a Lakota Mass.
“The interaction with the children before and during the powwow was great,” said St. Joseph’s supporter, Rose. “I thoroughly enjoyed making the dream catcher. Although, it was a bit challenging being a lefty! Everyone was so helpful.”
Overall, powwow was dubbed a success and worth the trip!
“The powwow was amazing!” said Ellen on Facebook following the event. ”Glad we came from NY to enjoy it!”
Many came to powwow as strangers but left as a member of our tiyospaye – extended family.
For a visual glimpse into powwow weekend at St. Joseph’s Indian School, like us on Facebook to see updates as we post more videos and photos from this special day.
Pilamaya – thank you – for supporting St. Joseph’s and the 42nd Annual Powwow and Cultural Events.