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Old 11-09-2004, 04:51 PM   #8
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I'd just like to address a few things:

1) There were just under 60 dancers who registered to dance. I have no idea where these other numbers like "150" are coming from. I have the dancer registration logs and no way does it add up to 150. I'm not sure why the rumor started several weeks ago that there were a hundred dancers registered, but I can assure you that it is not true.

That would really be something!

Unfortunately, the pre-registrations that came in were lost due to a technical snafu.

From what some friends of mine have told me (who are far more experienced with organizing powwows than I am), though, having as many dancers as we did show up for this first annual powwow is quite an acheivement... especially considering that a lot of first time powwows around here are luckly to have a dozen dancers show up.

2) I sincerely apologize that Friday night there was no water placed out for the dancers.

The staff did put out water for dancers on Saturday (it was in two locations-- in a large blue cooler next to the drum arbor and there were other cases of water put out just to the side of it), but unfortunately, from what I'm hearing, some dancers got the water, and for some reason, others didn't know about it. At no time would we have advised anyone to go get water from a water fountain. If this happened to you, please e-mail me and describe the person or name the person who told you this so we can deal with that.

3) There was a $5.00 dancer registration fee for the whole weekend. (For adults... for teenagers it would have been $4.00 for little kids it would have been free.) This was done because all of the dancer registration money was supposed to go into one "pot" so to speak to be doled out all weekend for dancer raffles. This should have been explained to each dancer when the registered. If it wasn't explained to you, I apologize.

Now... let me say this about the raffles. I'm looking into this right now. I know how much was set aside for numbers to be called, but I'm getting mixed reports as to how many raffle drawings the MC did and whether all the money was claimed.

If anyone can offer me any information on this, I encourage you to please, please e-mail me or PM me. We would like to find out who all of the raffle winners were and make sure they were all able to claim their money.
The only dancers I'm aware of who complained about the registration fee were friends of the MC, or at least claimed to be with him. These individuals protested and we happily refunded their money. It was not our intention to upset anyone with this. We wanted to be able to have day money drawings for the dancers who were there, but were not sure how much money could be set aside from the money going towards paying for everything else for the powwow (drums, MC, head man dancer, etc.) so it seemed the fairest way to handle this would be to simply have the dancers pay a small registration fee and that would cover them for the weekend and give them a chance to win $40 during each of several drawings.

If anyone else was upset about the dancer registration fee and this caused such discontent, I really wish any of these individuals would have made it a point to speak with myself or one of the other event organizers about this. It would have been no problem for you to get your $5 back.

We did our best to address anyone who brought their concerns to us. The individuals admitting people into the powwow and registering dancers were only following the directions they had been given as to what to do.

4) I agree. There were too many vendors at this event, but that was done intentionally.

We are not personally familiar with all of the vendors, (many were sent to us by the MC) but we allowed a large number of vendors to come to showcase their wares at this first event so we could better determine who we will be inviting back next year.

We have received very positive feedback from the vast majority of the vendors who were there. I think the ones who were complaining were perhaps disappointed because they didn't do very well due to the great amount of competition. Some of this probably has to do with quality versus prices of merchandise. There were 2 or 3 vendors who packed up and left Saturday night. One can only guess as to why they left.

There were a few vendors who we donated spaces to. One was the Dine' mother of a young woman stationed at Camp Lejeune. Another was an Indian Vet and activist when it comes to POW/MIA issues. There were a few others as well.

I can assure you that next year there will be less vendors. We only want people involved with this powwow who WANT to be involved with it and who think it's striving to serve a good purpose. In the future, we only want vendors with high quality, reasonably priced merchandise.

I would encourage anyone who has constructive criticism about how this event could be made better next year to please submit them to me via e-mail or PM.

So far, we've gotten back far more positive feedback than negative... and most of the negative seems to be coming from one corner of the room, so-to-speak.

5) Regarding the Arena Director not always being available. I'm not sure what happened there. The MC had told me that he had someone who would be there to assist the Arena Director we had (who is an elder & veteran who volunteered for the post), but perhaps that person wsa unavailable.

On a very positive note, there will be a lot of new things to look forward to next year...

We'll have a whole new head staff next year. I'm getting some good suggestions for MCs, drums, etc.

A couple of the guys from Cedartree have offered their encouragement and advice as far as planning things next year. We've also had lots of encouragement here locally from some individuals who've also made some good suggestions.

It's likely that this powwow will be held on base at Camp Lejeune next year... because the Marines were so happy with how it turned out. In particular the Sgt Major (I think that's his rank) in charge of the musem over on base (He is Mohawk.) He was a huge help in getting some of the technical issues that came up taken care of.

We have received a number of e-mails and phone calls all weekend and since yesterday and today from Veterans and active duty military families thanking us for this powwow.

I just want to say, on the contrary. We want to thank them for giving us something to celebrate.
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