Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend Pow-Wow at ICC a Big Success!

Grand Rapids, Minnesota April 12, 2008:

Over 400 people attended the 20th Annual O-Gitch-I-Dah POW-WOW held at Mullins Gym at Itasca Community College (ICC) in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on Saturday, April 12, 2008. Participants included 153 registered dancers, 17 drum groups, and 12 vendors from five of the Anishinaabe tribes in Minnesota. Many non-native members of the community also participated which was one of the main objectives of this culture sharing event organized by the O-Gitch-I-Dah Club, ICC's American Indian student organization.

This was the first time in many years that the pow-wow was held on the weekend and with the recent snow storms O-Gitch-I-Dah Club president Charity Warrington-Curry was concerned about people staying away. Warrington-Curry said, "The turn out was huge and we really came together as a community. The 30 members of our club worked hard to make this happen and it's an awesome feeling for the pow-wow to exceed all our expectations. If there was one thing I would like to say to everyone, it would be 'chi-miigwech' ('big thank you' in Ojibwe)."

Early Saturday afternoon, several eagles were seen flying over the ICC campus which is a sign of positive spiritual significance according to Native people. The Grand Entries took place at 1:00 and 7:00 PM with Larry Aitken serving as spiritual advisor, Pete White as master of ceremonies, and Gary Charwood as arena director. The co-host drum groups were Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig and Leech Lake Nation. At 5:00 PM the feast was held in the ICC cafeteria. Traditional food like fry bread and wild rice was served by O-Gitch-I-Dah Club members and royality dancers from reservations in northern Minnesota.

The O-Gitch-I-Dah Club at ICC was founded in the 1980s and sanctioned by respected medicine man Jimmy Jackson. It strives to provide peer support and promote activities to increase the understanding of American Indian culture and heritage. O-Gitch-I-Dah is an Ojibwe word meaning "people we depend on to protect us." The club is open to all interested ICC students and encourages participation with all community members.

For more information about O-Gitch-I-Dah, go to or contact the organization's adviser Harold Annette at ICC phone (218) 327-4491 or e-mail

See KAXE's flickr page in days to come for photos from the Pow-Wow.

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