Two New Year's Eve pow wow's plan to kickoff 2015, sober-style.
Jim Hallum started the New Year's Eve Omaka Teca Wacipi Sobriety Pow Wow to move away from the conventional, sometimes negative influences of the holiday celebration.
"Instead of welcoming in the year with alcohol, we want to do it in a much more spiritual way," he told the Sioux City Journal. So, the Nebraska Indian Community College extension director decided to create a pow wow that’s an alternative to all the partying and heavy drinking.
The pow wow will be held at the Long Lines Family Recreation Center in Sioux City on Dec. 31, and features music, dancing, and will crown a Miss NICC Pow Wow Princess. Participants who plan to attend say that starting good, inspirational traditions ahead of the New Year bodes well for the Native community. Pow wow guests plan to focus on spirituality and their culture to help ring in 2015 on a positive note. "In the Native American world, spirituality goes hand in hand with culture," Will Meier told the Journal. "You can't have one without another."
The grand entry will begin at 2 p.m. followed by ceremonial dances, special contests, entertainment (comic Mylo Redwater Smith will perform) and dinner will be served at 5 p.m. A second Grand Entry begins at 7p.m. and the pow wow will end at 1a.m. "Dancing means filling your heart and your soul with goodness," Lori Payer, who will be the pow wow’s head woman, told the paper. "It's hard to be in a bad mood when you're at a Pow Wow."
More than 125 people plan to attend the pow wow, according to its Facebook page, and 40 local tribes in the Sioux City, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota area will be represented. The pow wow is free of charge.
Hallum told the Associated Press that he hopes his powwow will become an annual event.
Meier, who plans to attend the pow wow, added, "If a person has been curious about what goes on at a Pow Wow, this will be a terrific introduction."
Also on Dec. 31, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Friends of Sobriety organization will host its 14th annual sobriety pow wow. Its mission is to help people stay sober.
Last year, Lorraine Bosin, whose husband, Niles Bosin, co-founded the pow wow and has since passed away, told ICTMN that her husband “believed that alcohol was not the Indian way” and she wanted to continue the pow wow to honor his legacy.
The pow wow will be held at the Cox Business Center in downtown Tulsa, and opens with Gourd dancing at 1p.m. In 2013, at least 4,000 people attended the event. It is free and open to the public.
The headstaff includes MC, Tim Tallchief, Osage; Arena Director, Randy Frazier, Choctaw/Prairie Band of Potawatomi; Headman dancer, Darrell Wildcat, Pawnee/Yuchi; Head lady dancer, Margo Gray, Osage, and many more.
“We are always there to help people get sober,” she told ICTMN. “We have a lot of fun. We meet a lot of people. It has an impact on my - and my [late] husband’s - life.”
For more information on the Friends of Sobriety New Years Eve Pow Wow, visit Facebook.