This weekend the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska holds its 24th annual Pow Wow in honor of their long-held traditions to honor the fall harvest, successful hunts, and births, deaths and weddings of tribal members during the previous year. Their gatherings were a time of celebration for relatives, friends, and other tribes.
Today the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Pow Wow is a time for the tribe to share, celebrate, reminisce and pass on their knowledge and traditions to future generations after restoration of the Tribe’s federal recognition via the Ponca Restoration Act in 1990 after two aggressive bids by the U.S. Government to wipe it out of existence.
The Ponca were rendered “persona non-grata” (people treated as a hostile foreign power) in the 1800s leading to the [in]famous trial of Ponca Chief Ma-Chu-nah Zah aka Standing Bear in 1879. The Trial of Standing Bear was a milestone for the Ponca and for Native American Rights in general as it was the first time a U.S. court recognized a Native American as an actual person who was afforded equal protection under the law.
Established by the 83rd Congress in 1953, the Indian Termination Policy (ITP) was a nationwide tool of forced assimilation that effectively reduced Native landholdings and eroded power by ending the special relationships between federal government and Native tribes—and with the complicity of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This policy of termination was directed at roughly 109 tribes and bands and almost 1.5 million acres of trust land. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska was targeted in 1962 and the termination removed 442 Poncas from tribal rolls.
“In effect, this meant that not only did the Ponca no longer exist but also that their remaining land and holdings were dissolved,” the PTN history states on their website. “It was not until 1990, almost a quarter of a century later, that the Ponca would, once again, gain federal recognition. However, in the interim, much of the Tribe’s cultural heritage would be forever lost.”
The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is one of two federally recognized Ponca tribes, the other being the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska are believed to have been part of the Omaha Tribe, separated by the time Lewis and Clark encountered in 1804.
Historically, the Ponca were not large in number, averaging 800 people in 1780 only to be decimated by European diseases including Smallpox to 200 by 1804. Today, the tribe has close to 3,500 members. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is the name used to describe the Northern Ponca Tribe after it was officially restored.
Video: Blessing of the “Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe” Nebraska Historical Marker
Video: Ponca Pow Wow Grand Entry 2015
Video: Women’s Song 2015
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Here is a select list of pow wows happening across Turtle Island August 11th through 13th:
Heart Butte Indian Days Pow Wow, August 10-13
26 miles south of Browning
Heart Butte, MT 59448
For more information visit the Heart Butte Indian Days Pow Wow web listing or Facebook page.
Shoshone-Bannock 54th Annual Indian Festival, August 10-13
Sho-Ban Festival Grounds
Fort Hall Indian Reservation
Fort Hall, ID 83203
For more information visit the Shoshone-Bannock 54th Indian Festival website or Facebook page.
Gallup 96th Annual Intertribal Indian Ceremonial Pow Wow, August 11-12
Red Rock Park
825 Outlaw Road
Church Rock, NM 87311
For more information visit the Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial website or Facebook page.
Kul Wicasa Wacipi (PowWow), Fair and Rodeo, August 11-13
Iron Elk, Rencountre, Ziegler Memorial Arena
187 Oyate Circle
Lower Brule, SD 57548
For more information visit the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe website or Kul-Wicasa Oyate Fair & Rodeo Facebook event page.
Mohican Nation 41st Annual Traditional Pow Wow, August 11-13
Stockbridge-Munsee Many Trails Park and Campground
N9125 Mohheconnuck Rd
Bowler, WI 54416
For more information visit the Mohican Nation website or Mohican Pow Wow Facebook page.
Nesika Illahee Pow Wow, August 11-13
Pauline Ricks Memorial Pow-Wow Grounds – Government Hill
402 Park Way
Siletz, OR 97380
For more information visit the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians website.
Grand Portage Rendezvous Days and Pow Wow, August 11-13
Grand Portage Monument Heritage Center
170 Mile Creek Road
Grand Portage, MN 55605
For more information visit the Grand Portage National Monument Rendezvous Days and Powwow website or Grand Portage Rendezvous Days Facebook group.
Robert Canada Friendship Pow Wow, August 12-13
Venn W. Furgeson Elementary – Baseball Field
22215 S. Elaine Avenue
Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716
For more information visit the City of Hawaiian Gardens website or Facebook page.
Sipayik 52nd Ceremonial Indian Day Pow Wow, August 12-13
Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point Reservation – Kci Peskiyak Ball Field
Perry, ME 04667
For more information visit the Passamaquoddy at Sipayik website or Waponahki Museum Facebook page.
Stillaguamish Festival of the River and Pow Wow, August 12-13
River Meadows County Park
20416 Jordan Road
Arlington. WA 98223
For more information visit the Stillaguamish Festival of the River website or Facebook page.
Odawa 26th Annual Homecoming Pow Wow, August 12-13
LTBB Odawa Pow Wow Grounds
7500 Odawa Circle
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
For more information visit the Odawa Homecoming Pow Wow website or Facebook page.
Check out our Pow Wow listings here (updates ongoing).
Attention Pow Wow organizers:
You can also update your information on our pow wow email list. By adding your email, you’ll enable us to contact you on select pow wow updates & announcements. We will only send a few emails each year, and it will only be used by our internal pow wow team. Add your email for the pow wow email list here: http://eepurl.com/bOY8ir
If you are not a pow wow organizer, please be sure to send them this article.
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