Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
CHICAGO Susan Power, the only remaining founding member of the American Indian Center of Chicago, gave the opening greeting and prayer at the 60th Annual American Indian Center of Chicago Powwow on Saturday afternoon's brilliant blue skies.
The 89 year old Power, Standing Rock Sioux, is probably the only person alive who has attended all of the 60 annual powwows in Chicago hosted by the American Indian Center of Chicago.
“If there is anyone else here, come see me,”
exhorted Power as she offered the welcome and prayer. No one came forward.
“Learn from us. Realize you can feel a part of us in this world that is turning so mean,”
told the crowd of thousands of attendees who attended the weekend powwow.
There was no meanness present at the powwow as the general public mingled with hundreds of dancers during the powwow that brings together American Indians from over 100 different tribes from North America to dance in the traditional powwow.
Through the years Power was also active in the National Congress of American Indians from its founding in the late 1940s. She along with other Chicagoan Indians, like George Lamont, were instrumental in establishing this organization created to advocate for the rights of American Indians across Indian country.
Vendors from the southwestern portion of the United States were present at the powwow to sell authentic American Indian-made items, such as handcrafted silver jewelry.
George Martin, 77, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe from Hopkins, Michigan, served as the head veteran dancer and led the Grand Entry as hundreds of other dancers entered the dance arena. Martin served in the US Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
This weekend's powwow is hosted by the American Indian Center of Chicago, which is oldest such center in the United States. The American Indian Center promotes fellowship among Indian people of all tribes living in metropolitan Chicago and to create bonds of understanding and communication between Indian and non-Indians.
posted September 16, 2013 8:30 am edt