A Healthy Living Powwow was held on Nov. 30, 2017, at both the Laona and Crandon School Districts to educate and inspire youth in a healthy living lifestyle. Both of these events really were an informative tool for those who are not familiar with Native American powwows: the reasons behind them, and the reasons behind some of the dances.
The first part was the traditional powwow itself. There was a grand entry with the veterans bringing in the colors and staff along with head dancers, Brevin Boyd and Waleli Frank. Next was royalty and then the dancers. Drum group for this was the Young Warriors, and they did an amazing job as always. It was a great thing to witness these young men stepping up to the plate and learning their drumming and singing skills.
There was great participation from the students in the crowd at both schools. PTT was only able to attend the powwow held at the Laona School District which included Laona, Wabeno and Goodman schools. During a few of the songs the students were able to come out onto the floor and learn a bit of the sneak-up dance and the crow hop. Everyone really did have a great time in dancing and releasing their good energy into the area.
After the traditional powwow was done, everyone was in for a very special treat from Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company. Established in 2013, the group consists of Native American dancers from the Ojibwe, Sioux, Potawatomi and Apache tribes. The group portrays all styles of dancing in this region which include traditional, fancy, jingle, grass and hoop.
The Company’s mission statement is: To provide a quality, authentic and respectful Native American dance performance/demonstration with experienced Native American dancers. To educate the viewer on traditional Native American stories, culture and values using authentic songs, music and dance.
Not only will your eyes and senses be awed with the talent of these dancers, through their regalia and dancing you will learn what it means to be Native American, and why they hold so true to themselves and their ethnicity. This is an extraordinary company to learn from and they teach it all so well that everyone will take a way a bit of history no matter what.
Kimberlee Soldier, tribal AmeriCorps member, said, “The Community Coalition of Forest County and The Mole Lake Coalition have come together the past two years to unite our community for a healthier living in sponsoring the Healthy Living Powwow. This year we wanted to hold the event in November during Native American Heritage Month and will hopefully continue to do so in the years to come. I have to give a huge shout out and thank you to: ALL of the wonderful youth and adult dancers in our community, Forest County Potawatomi youth drum, the Young Warriors, Sokaogon veterans and flag carriers, Crandon, Laona, Wabeno and Goodman School Districts, Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company, and Adrian King for helping to bring this event to our community again this year. I absolutely loved that all the youth from both events came out into the dance arena again this year. We had dancers of all ages with smiles on their faces enjoying themselves. It was beautiful.”
If you would like to learn more about Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company or are interested in booking a performance, they can be found at www.facebook.com/nativeamericandancecompany/ or you can email Chad or Michelle Reed at Woodlandskydancecompany@yahoo.com.