Celebrating 151 Years: 2017 Winnebago Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow

151 years of pow wows: Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska honors cultural traditions at Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow

It’s no small feat for a tribe to have held an annual pow wow for century or more. The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska -- one of two federally recognized tribes of Ho-Chunk Native Americans organized under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act -- prides itself on holding one of “The World’s Oldest Pow Wows.”

In 2017, The Winnebago Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow celebrates its 151st year this weekend and honors the tribe’s cultural traditions, veterans, as well as its illustrious history.

The United States government forced the Ho-Chunk to give up portions of their land in the early 1800s. The tribe was relocated repeatedly for the next 50 years from Wisconsin to Iowa to Minnesota to South Dakota before being allowed to settle in Nebraska. Many eventually returned to Wisconsin and now comprise the federally recognized Ho-Chunk Nation.

The Winnebago 151st Annual Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow takes place July 27-30 in Winnebago, NE. Courtesy Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

The Winnebago 151st Annual Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow takes place July 27-30 in Winnebago, NE. Courtesy Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

After settling in their new homeland, a group of Ho-Chunk warriors including their last war chief, Chief Little Priest, enlisted in the U.S. Army at the request of General Alfred Sully who needed help with battles against Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, Northern Arapahoe, and the Santee Dakota Bands.

According to the Nebraska Education on Location website, even though Chief Little Priest dreaded the idea of fighting against his Native brothers, he agreed to fight in order to save his tribe. As a result, General Alfred Sully used his influence in Washington D.C. to obtain the Winnebago-Omaha agreement.[text_ad]The Winnebago Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow pays tribute to the return of Chief Little Priest and 75 members of Fort Omaha Scouts Company A, 34th Nebraska Volunteers in April 1886 (contrary to many reports claiming Chief Little Priest died in battle). 

The Winnebago celebration began in July of 1886 when Grey Wolf, Chief Little Priest’s brother, held a celebration of his brother’s life and notable achievements. Chief Little Priest walked on two months after the celebration in September 1886 from wounds he received as an army soldier.

Fittingly, this weekend’s celebration takes place in Scenic Veteran’s Memorial Park in Winnebago, Nebraska.

For more information visit the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska visit their website or Facebook page.

Winnebago Pow Pow 2016 Grand Entry

2016 Winnebago Pow Wow - End of the Snake Dance

Here is a select list of pow wows happening across Turtle Island July 27th through July 30th:

Winnebago 151st Annual Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow, July 27-30
Scenic Veteran’s Memorial Park
US Highway 75 (1 1/4 Miles East of Winnebago)
Winnebago, NE 68071
For more information visit the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska website or Facebook page.

Healing Mother Earth – 9th Annual Intertribal Traditional Pow Wow, July 28-30
Evergreen Lake Park
703 Center Road (Exit 241 Andover/Conneaut - Intersection of I90 and OH Rt 7)
Conneaute, OH 44030
For more information visit the United Eastern Lenape Nation website.

Saginaw Chippewa 33rd Annual Tribal Pow Wow, July 28-30
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Campground
7525 E. Tomah Rd.
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
For more information visit the Saginaw Chippewa website or Facebook page.

Thunderbird 38th Annual Grand Mid-Summer Pow Wow, July 28-30
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park, NY 11104-1129
For more information visit the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers website or Facebook group.

Association of American Indian Physicians 46th Annual Meeting and National Health Conference Pow Wow, July 29
Grand Casino Hotel & Resort
777 Grand Casino Blvd
Shawnee, OK 74804
For more information visit the AAIP website or Facebook page.

Richard Twiss Memorial and 13th Annual Traditional Pow Wow, July 29
Aldersgate Conference Grounds
7790 Marion Road Southeast
Turner, OR 97392
For more information visit the Wiconi International website.

Wildfire Phillips Annual Return to Spirit Intertribal Pow Wow, July 29-30
13 Sharon Drive
Fairhaven, VT 05743
For more information phone 802-236-6835 or email wildfiredebbie@gmail.com.

Nipmuc Nation 94th Annual Pow Wow, July 30
Hassanamesit Reservation
80 Brigham Hill Rd.
Grafton, MA 01521
For more information visit the Nipmuc Museum website or Facebook page.

Check out our Pow Wow listings here (updates ongoing).

Attention Pow Wow organizers:

You can also update your information on our pow wow email list. By adding your email, you’ll enable us to contact you on select pow wow updates & announcements. We will only send a few emails each year, and it will only be used by our internal pow wow team. Add your email for the pow wow email list here: http://eepurl.com/bOY8ir

If you are not a pow wow organizer, please be sure to send them this article.

Follow ICTMN Correspondent Lisa J. Ellwood on Twitter at www.twitter.com/IconicImagery