The Annual Pokagon Round Dance was held on Saturday, December 9 at the Mendel Center located in Benton Harbor, Mich. The event kicked off with a prayer by citizen Carl Wesaw, Pokagon Veteran. The feast was in honor of our ancestors and the spirits who would be joining the festivities throughout the night. Pokagon elder Donald Sumner, shared kind words and sentiments for our gathering. Séma (tobacco) was then passed to the singers and staff for prayers before offering them the pwagen (pipe) so they could be raised up and received on our behalf.
The singing and dancing commenced with many singers and dancers traveling in locally and also from as far as Saskatchewan, Canada. Local Pokagon singers included John T. Warren, Marcus Winchester, Jason S. Wesaw, and Todd Miller, to name a few. Our invited staff included veterans Carl Wesaw and McKinley Greer, Little Miss Pokagon Sydney Olson and Little Mr. Pokagon Logan Spence, our emcee Gordan Sands, stickman Joe Syrette, and pipeman Donald Sumners.
The night ended with an apple dance to provide nourishment to the dancers and singers who had sung all night and a community giveaway lead by Pokagon citizens offering gifts to our visiting guests.
Ktthe migwetth to everyone who came to support, participate, and facilitate this growing community event.