Normally at a pow wow the only rumble to be heard comes from the drum arbor, but the sight of 75 leather clad bikers rolling onto the festival grounds, took even veteran pow wow attendees off guard.
One hour earlier these bikers assembled in front of the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan to prepare for their 70-mile trek along the Hudson River, the final destination was the 13th annual Bear Mountain Pow Wow in Harriman State Park. The event was organized by the Redhawk Native American Arts Council, and is one of four celebrations they host each summer in the New York City area. Each year the arts council gives two scholarships to Urban Native American college students. Redrum Motorcycle Club wanted to raise funds for the scholarship and organized a bike blessing to help. At 11:05 am sharp a procession of Harleys left Bowling Green for their scenic ride up to the park. Upon arrival the escorted bikers were lined up and Mickey Sickles of the Oneida Nation conducted a bike blessing for all the riders. Storenzo of Hidden Faces Motor Cycle Club presented $575 to the Redhawk Youth Council for this year’s scholarship recipient.
Many of the bikers who attended the pow wow where first timers and didn’t know what to expect. John Ortiz of Queens said, “ I love the hole vibe of the pow wow, it seems bikers and Native American culture are a good match, it’s all about freedom and self expression.” This year’s ride is schedule for August 8th, and organizers are expecting over 200 bikes.