Crowds come out for Maawanji-iding; Dancing room only at pow wow

The KBIC Honor Guard honors veterans during Friday night’s Grand Entry. Crowds of participants and guests came out to enjoy the pow wow in Baraga.


by Nancy Besonen
It was dancing room only at this past weekend’s 39th Annual Keweenaw Bay Maawanji’iding at the Ojibwa Campground in Baraga. “We had 614 dancers, 14 drums, 40 vendors and probably about 1,200 spectators,” said pow wow coordinator Gary Loonsfoot. “It rained Sunday morning but stopped before the Grand Entry. Everyone was in full regalia–and tennis shoes!” The Ojibwa campground was filled to capacity for the event, as well as the campground by the marina. Loonsfoot noted camping was free of charge for the weekend. Entrance to the pow wow is also free of charge. The event features four Grand Entries, introducing honored tribal members and traditions to the steady beat of drums and singing. The Grand Entries take place Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the dance arena. Throughout the weekend, vendors offer a wide range of Native American foods and wares. Fry bread, wild rice soup, Indian tacos and more keep dancers well fed, as well as guests who browse for jewelry, clothing, beadwork, homemade soaps, etc. at the pow wow. Bear Creek served as this year’s Host Drum, and John Teller, Jr. and Mike Sullivan, Sr. were emcees. Darrell Kingbird was arena director/advisor and Ray Cadotte, Head Veteran Dancer. Head Man Dancer was Rodney Loonsfoot and Tina Connor was Head Woman Dancer.  To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.