Tribes gather for local Pow Wow

Housing, help being sought for participants of public Native event

Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2000

More than a dozen groups of Native American dancers and drummers will be performing in Juneau in a few weeks.

The event is a sharing of culture and tradition and not a competition, said Garfield Katasse, one of the organizers of Pow Wow 2000 - The Gathering of the Tribes.

We dont have anybody judging anybody for any prize money, he said. We want to bring different cultures to Alaska. We want to let them see what we do.

Organizers have raised money to bring some of the groups to Juneau, and theyre still looking for additional support.

Were really looking for housing, Katasse said. Were still looking for sponsorship for groups. The majority of groups are paying their own travel expenses.

Dance groups include 11 Southern Cree drummers and dancers from Montana, 26 drummers and dancers from the California-based All Nations group, a hoop dancer from Craig, the 16-member Sleeping Lady dance group from Anchorage and the 15-member Sheetka-Kwaan dance group from Sitka. Dancers and drummers from the Athabaskan, Yupik, Lakota, Hochunk and Sioux tribes will participate also.

There will be fancy dancing in full regalia, Katasse said. Everyone dresses different, drums different, dances different.

An outdoor drumming and dancing potluck, customarily known as a 49, will be held at Sandy Beach the opening night, Sept. 2. Performances will be held Sept. 3 and 4, with Sammy Tone-Kei White of the Kiowa Nation of Oklahoma serving as master of ceremonies. All events are open to the public.

People sometimes feel reluctant to come we want everyone to come. Everyones invited to the 49 and the Pow Wow, Katasse said.

An arts and crafts fair will accompany the dance performances, and Katasse said all artisans are welcome to contact him for space. The cost for a table is $100. The event will be held at Juneau-Douglas High School, and the craft fair will be in the high school commons. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. There is no admission charge for the fair.

Proceeds after expenses from the Pow Wow will be split among the participants, he said. For more information, contact Katasse at 586-8187.

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