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Monroe Pow Wow Stays Traditional, Doubles in Size

Monroe Pow Wow Stays Traditional, Doubles in Size
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The Monroe County Pow Wow is stepping away from the modern way of doing things and stepping back into the traditional.

"A lot of Native Americans don't really practice their beliefs anymore because they're so modernized and this helps bring them back, feel at home," Jennifer Samaniego, who led the dances for the event as Head Woman, told

"It's all about that connection, a lot of us have lost our culture, we've lost our language and a Pow Wow is a good place to get reconnected," Phillip Smith, who served as the Head Man of the pow wow, told the news station.

The 4th annual pow wow was held July 5-6 at tthe River's Edge Campgrounds in Sardis, Ohio, and according to, a mix of different nations including Shawnee, Seneca, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Lanape, Cherokee, Chockpaw and Miami attended.

"We're all a family, we call ourselves our pow wow family,” Kirsten Koenig, a dancer at this years pow wow, told "We all know each other, we've all pow wowed together for many years so it's just being here."

And that connection, to the people and the community, has helped the pow wow doubled in size.

"Over the past 20-25 years, the Native culture is slowly coming back in this area so we do this in some fashion to teach people about who we are," Shawn Reilly, the 2014 pow wow Veteran Head told "The Native people had so much taken from us, we need to continue to be who we are so that people can learn that we're not gone," said Koenig. "We're real people and we have real lives and we live in houses, we don't live in teepees. There's a whole mass of different traditions and ceremonies you can learn just from talking to us like we're real people."