Ho-Chunk Nation holds annual Memorial Day Pow-wow

Ho-Chunk Nation holds annual Memorial Day Pow-wow

Rooted deep in tradition and culture, this year’s Memorial Day pow-wow hosted by the Ho-Chunk Nation, held at the Andrew Black Memorial Pow-wow grounds in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, honored the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion. Andrew Blackhawk Post 129 as always, was the host Legion Post.

A rainy Memorial Day did not deter the annual raising of flags honoring Veterans that are no longer walking Mother Earth. Veterans worked together in a ceremony paying respect to not only Native Veteran flags, but non-native Veteran flags as well.

Known for their hospitality, the Ho-Chunk always invite non-natives to join in their celebrations.

I usually would write this in a third person objective view, but being Native American, I am sharing some thoughts and feelings in this read.

Native Americans, in general, are Warrior-based societies. Warriors are held in high-esteem due to their dedication of ensuring the safety and protection of their tribe and ancestral lands.

Why have a pow-wow on event on DriftlessNow.com? Well, the entire Driftless area was originally home to the Hocak, Hochungra, also known as the Ho-Chunk (People of the Big Voice or sacred language) and until 1995 the Winnebago, when the Ho-Chunk took back their inherent name.

Today, there are Hocak (as I will refer to the tribe) living in and around the Driftless area. We will have some feature articles at a later date focusing on Native American History in the Driftless.

I could share information and many details about the pow-wow, but the best way to understand one is to attend one. We will have upcoming pow-wows near the Driftless area listed on our events page. I invite you to attend one these pow-wows and experience Native American culture.

 It should be noted the Ho-Chunk always encourage the public to attend their pow-wows, joining in the celebration. For too long, Native American culture has been analyzed to death with some interjections of personal views that, all too often, fuel myths and stereotypes.

Over many years as Editor of the Hocak Worak, the Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal newspaper, I had the honor and privilege of covering many pow-wows. I would keep my words to a minimum and let the photos speak for themselves. I continue on this way.

Keep in mind, there are other tribes, dance and age categories represented in the photos. I also limit my captions, allowing for the viewer to spend more time enjoying the story told by a photograph.

For more information on other pow-wow’s outside the Driftless region and Wisconsin, please visit https://www.powwows.com/ . This site also is an excellent source for first time pow-wow attendees and non-native visitors, and includes a section on proper pow-wow etiquette for non-native visitors.

Mitakuye Oyasin

(To all my relations)

Editor’s note: The first eight photos are by Karen Rynes -Kickapoo Valley Photography 

Commercial fly tier Andrew Grillos, visits the Driftless

Commercial fly tier Andrew Grillos, visits the Driftless

Canoeing and kayaking in full swing on the Kickapoo

Canoeing and kayaking in full swing on the Kickapoo