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  What  A  Pow  Wow  Is.......

A Pow Wow is many different things to different people.  It is a time, and a place, where family and friends get together.  It is where strangers become friends and where people from different tribes can share an important part of themselves and their culture.  It is an event associated with dancing, singing, and celebrating.

A significant, but often forgotten, part of these gatherings is the exchange of gifts.  This practice was important for re-establishing old ties and friendships with each other.

When a gift is given proper etiquette requires that a gift be given in return.  A gift does not have to be returned immediately, the return can be made at the next Pow Wow season.  The women of the past would make beaded bags, clothing, quilts, and etc. to be given away.  It was not uncommon for people to give away horses, buggies, blankets and many other valuable things.

Throughout the years the Pow Wow has evolved into a tradition exemplifying generosity and giving.  The Winnebago term 'hayluska', meaning 'to give' or 'giving', best defines today's Pow Wow; as we come into the circle with honor and respect for each other and the drum.

Pow Wow time gives us a chance to reflect on who we are as American Indians or Native American people and to celebrate our rich inheritance.

Pow  Wow  Etiquette

Pow Wows are sacred events steeped in tradition.  To help you understand the traditional etiquette, to be able to better enjoy and participate, we offer the following basic list of do's and don'ts.

When the Eagle Staff is brought in to the ring during the Grand Entry, in the company of the American Flag, or when they are taken from the ring, it is respectful to stand and remove your hat.

The same respect should be shown should an eagle feather fall to the ground.  If you should discover one, please, do not pick it up!  Rather, guard it and notify a Pow Wow official or report to the Council Booth.  There are ceremonies for the returning of a fallen eagle feather, which under no circumstances may be photographed or video taped.

Pointing with a finger, particularly the index finger, is considered impolite.  It is best to indicate a person by pursing the lips and pointing with the eyes or with a head nod in the direction.

Please!  Do not touch any regalia.  Ornaments have special meanings and many of the handmade outfits, which can cost thousands of dollars, are cherished for having been made in part or in whole by a particularly respected family member.  Frequently they are heirlooms and may be delicate.  Of course, the feathers have a special sacredness.

Random walking, running, or playing in the Dance Ring is strictly prohibited.

Taping of songs is allowed only if permission has been granted by the Head Singer of a Drum.  Even if permission has been given, the Master of Ceremonies may request specific songs not be recorded at the Drum's request.

Any photographs of individuals taken outside the ring should be with the expressed permission of the person photographed.  Obtaining an individual's permission is a respectful recognition of that person's dignity and rights of privacy.

Visitors are welcome to enter the dance ring during intertribal dancing or by invitation during special songs.  For example, all Veterans should participate in the Victory Song.  During all other times please respect the sacredness of the ring by not entering.

Special note:  Seats under the arbor are  normally for dancers.  There are bleachers provided for spectators.  A blanket placed on a seat or on the ground is a way of marking one's place.  Please do not remove or sit on a blanket so placed without permission.

Thank you for your interest and respectful recognition of these etiquette guidelines.

Join us for Pow Wow 2011 June 25 & 26!!

23nd Annual
"Keeping the Tradition" Pow Wow 2011

We warmly welcome you to our Pow Wow!  We thank all of our old and new friends, and our relatives, for sharing this celebration with us.  Your presence gladdens our hearts and warms our memories.  We gather together in friendship and peace to sing, dance, listen and learn.  Let us all be family.

When:                     June 25 & 26, 2011

Where:                    Dayton, OH  -  SunWatch Indian Village
                                The SunWatch Indian Village

For Pow Wow information , call Mike Hoffa at (937) 554-1389
SunWatch Indian Village at (937) 268-8199

Directions...SunWatch is located off I-75, a few minutes south of downtown Dayton. Take exit 51 off I-75. Go West on Edwin C. Moses Blvd., which becomes Nicholas Rd. after you cross Dryden Rd./South Broadway St. intersection. Cross South Broadway and turn left (West River Road). Sunwatch is one mile south on West River Road. MapQuest Click here.  
For Pow Wow information contact MVCNA. Email For information regarding "The Sunwatch Indian Village". Visit the web site

Saturday June 25, 2011

8:00 a.m.      Flag Raising

10:00 a.m.    Grounds open to the public

12:00 Noon    Grand Entry - Flag Song - Victory Song - Prayer - Posting of the Staff and colors - Veterans Song

12:30 p.m. Welcoming Address: Andrew Sawyer, Site Manager, SunWatch Indian Village and Guy W. Jones, President, Miami Valley Council for Native Americans


4:30 p.m. TBA

4:45 p.m. Retreat of Staff and Colors

5:00 p.m. Dinner Break: Entertainment TBA

6:00 p.m. Grand Entry - Flag Song - Victory Song - Prayer - Posting of the Staffs and colors 6:30–

8:20 p.m. TBA

8:30 p.m. Retreat of Staffs

Sunday June 26, 2011

8:00 a.m.     Flag Raising

10:00 a.m.     Grounds open to the public

12:00 Noon   Grand Entry - Flag Song - Victory Song - Prayer - Posting of the Staff and colors - Veterans Song

12:30 p.m.   Welcoming Address: Andrew Sawyer, Site Manager, SunWatch Indian Village and Guy W. Jones, President, Miami Valley Council for Native Americans

12:40– 4:30 p.m.  TBA

4:45 p.m.  Retreat of Staff and Colors

Admission: $6.00 - Adults - Age 12 & Under - Free.

Pow Wow

Arena Director:
Head Veteran:
Host Drum:
Head Man Dancer:
To Be Chosen Daily!
Head Woman Dancer:
To Be Chosen Daily!

  • Lawn chair or blanket, water, sun protection.
  • Wear light weight & light color clothing.  It's 
  • Bring your camera (please see etiquette for proper use)


  • Opening Ceremony
  • Presentation of the Eagle Staff and American Flag
  • Grand Entry
  • Sacred circle and willow arbor
  • American Indian Dancers in Full Regalia
  • American Indian artists and hand-made crafts
  • Vendors: Ojibway, Seneca, Navajo & others
  • *American Indian Vendors Only!
  • *Vendors - email for application or info.
  • Download: Vender App-2011.pdf or Vender App-2011.rtf
  • American Indian Tipis
  • "Just Ask Us"  -  your questions answered
  • Food - including the Indian taco
  • Primitive camping available only for pow wow participants
  • Protected fires only - must have fire ring or rocks!
  • Donation/Volunteer Information:  Volunteers are needed!  If you would like to volunteer contact the Council office via emai, TMVCNA89@aol.comClick Here - If you would like to make a donation toward the "Keeping the Tradition" Pow Wow, you can contact us at the same email address listed above.  If you would prefer to write or mail a donation, please address them to:  Miami Valley Council for Native Americans, P.O. Box 637, Dayton, Ohio  45401-0637.  The MVCNA is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible.

    Click if you need to download Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®
    to read and print pledge.pdf or Vender App-2011.pdf

    Pow Wow Pictures!

    Click Here For Pow Wow!

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