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Old 04-28-2009, 12:40 PM   #21
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I attended this year. I was really overwhelmed by everything. *L* This was the first year that my husband and I actually WATCHED the powwow and opted out of dancing. We both came to the conclusion that it's just a SHOW. That's pretty much all it is one big show. We often wondered how people placed? Is it really WHO you know? Who and how judges were selected? How is it possible for 6-7 judges to pick a dancer out of a line up of 50 or so. My husband, whom happens to be a champion dancer and who has actually won his catergory at this event a FEW TIMES, said it was a "REAL EYE OPENER." He couldn't wrap his head around it, I guess being a spectator oppossed to a dancer made an impact on him.

The old style fancy dance special was interesting. I agree, they didn't pick any old style dancers, mostly people who "looked" the part.

Truth be told, my husband and I decided we're "NEVER EVER" going back!!
It's not worth it... I'd much rather watch it online and donate my *admission fee* to powwows.com.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:34 PM   #22
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I danced there once in the early 90s. That was enough for me.

I'd rather just hang in the dust with the kids, old folks, dogs, and the flies at little community powwows. THAT is paradise to me.
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Old 04-28-2009, 02:32 PM   #23
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Well all I can say is "I am never going back!" lol I say that every year...yet im still there...and will probably continue to go. But yeah i can understand the complaints about the costs of food..however, I do know that you could take your own food and drinks in cause i did get my food and drinks in...heck one of my powwow partners carried their ice chest in. As for this being a big show....now how can that be a surprise to anyone...look at the flier...it states everything on it. It was announced that they are moving next year to the football stadium while the pit is being renovated...this may help on the amount of space..however for those of you who attend year after year...you know the wind around that time is crazy!!!!! All I know is that I had a good time....even got to judge ... and yes you can pick dancers in that crowd of dancers....it may be a lil difficult but you have to know what you are doing, know what to watch for..i know the outfits of some can be real eye catching but its not all about the outfits...for me i just like the watch a persons style....you can tell when someone is concentrating on their moves too much and that takes away from their style...like everyone say just get out there and "dance like no one's watching!" buh...see you guys there next year...lol
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:09 PM   #24
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no such thing as a bad pow wow if you go with the spirit of pow wow, just go to to dance not worry bout who there or who judges just quit thinkin bout it and dance and visit or just sit back and enjoy the dance and music. folks need to ditch the politics and remember why they pow wow that's all. I like to pow wow, just give me a song and stand back.

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Old 04-28-2009, 03:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyot_In_The_House View Post
For the sheer sake of arguement.....Why Not? If folks don't agree or want to support GON......Don't go....Thats real simple.....There sure are alot of Skins who do go and will continue going....Thats just how it is....I'll tell you first hand its tough to put on a powwow of that size and a whole lot of work goes into it.....People who powwow know what to expect....If not well do your homework.....Generally any arena you powwow in is going to monopolize the food and beverage sales.....That's common sense.....What should raise an eyebrow is the amount of people in the building....The Fire Marshall was turning folks away one year.....I know for a fact its tough for elders to make their way down the steps, but they do it....I've witnessed it for 7 years.....They don't really complain they just deal with it, or as I initially said they don't go.....So you do have a choice.....It would be nice to see them move it to a larger location. Possibly make it a 3 day Powwow and increase the catergories? Its certainly possible, although until i'm right in the mix......How do I have one iota of a clue what it takes to make that powwow a reality? I'll tell you what.....Loads of people enjoy it and some obviously don't.....You'll never please everyone regardless.....
I soooooooo agree with you on this. Persons objective to the Gathering of Nations shouldn't complain at all....I dont understand why though? If they are not affiliated with it nor participating in it, why complain about something they have never experienced or witnessed? Its bizarre. All they know is that its a big pow wow with tons of dancers and food concessions with high prices...SO WHAT!?!?!? Many out there KNOW they its costly yet they still go...and I am pretty sure they have an idea of where all that money goes...oh well. I admire the Matthews for their success in the Gatherings...I am there to see and meet new and old friends. Thats what it is about. Your issues are of no concern to the THOUSANDS that will KEEP attending every year. I certainly will continue to attend and certainly will support the Gathering of Nations. Thanks Coyote..well said!!
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:49 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by AdonisDeLaurentis View Post
I soooooooo agree with you on this. Persons objective to the Gathering of Nations shouldn't complain at all....I dont understand why though? If they are not affiliated with it nor participating in it, why complain about something they have never experienced or witnessed? Its bizarre. All they know is that its a big pow wow with tons of dancers and food concessions with high prices...SO WHAT!?!?!? Many out there KNOW they its costly yet they still go...and I am pretty sure they have an idea of where all that money goes...oh well. I admire the Matthews for their success in the Gatherings...I am there to see and meet new and old friends. Thats what it is about. Your issues are of no concern to the THOUSANDS that will KEEP attending every year. I certainly will continue to attend and certainly will support the Gathering of Nations. Thanks Coyote..well said!!
Did you even read the letter at the beginning of this thread or just pick up on the rhetoric that Coyote was spewing? The point of the letter AND this thread is that Gathering of Nations is NOT a pow wow for the sake of pow wow, it is a Money Making Enterprise at your expense. And my expense and ANY indigenous person's expense. You may think you're going to see and meet new friends but you're doing it at a cost-not just in monetary terms but the very fact that OUR culture is being exploited for the pocket to be lined of a NON NATIVE person.

To simplify that very fact is to negate the value of our songs, dances and teachings and reduce their value to that of the price of admission. If you can't see that, then heck you should be out there at Gathering with the rest of the lemmings, selling your culture, because you don't deserve to have it to start with.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:07 PM   #27
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Gon

Please forward to everyone on your e-mail list including Mr. Darwin Whitstone. Thanks.

--- On Tue, 4/28/09, Gathering of Nations Web Site wrote:


From: Gathering of Nations Web Site
Subject: RE: Gathering of Nations
To:
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 11:10 AM


Greetings:

First and most importantly, we would like to begin by thanking everyone who attended the Gathering of Nations this year and for your taking the time to share your good words and thoughts about the great time you had. Additionally, special thanks and acknowledgement to the 3,000+ registered dancers, 45 drum groups and 400+ singers; for sharing your songs and dances. The spirit and sharing of your songs and dances holds a special meaning to all who attended and created healing and inspiration more than we will all ever know. The Gathering of Nations staff has grown into a talented and diverse team of both Native and non-Native people, led by a family who never expected to hold this responsibility and humbly sacrifices and invests their abilities as facilitators of such a visionary and powerful event. Our entire dedicated Gathering of Nations staff works tirelessly year round to produce the best possible event and experience.

While we always focus on the positive, a normal occurrence with a high profile event is scrutiny and Gathering of Nations is proactive about approaching any direct issues that our fans, friends, and family may be confronted with. Recently, we received an email containing a large amount of misleading information that we'd like to proactively address. The original email states a Mr. Darwin Whitstone had wrote the email and while we can only speculate about motive, our concern is the untrue accusations. Mr. Whitstone's knowledge of Gathering of Nations is obviously limited and biased and we are saddened by his choice of negative actions relative to Gathering of Nations. On a positive note, we are humbled by 100's of thousands that have and continue to say the most positive things about their experience at the Gathering every year.

Many years ago, we became keenly aware that the Gathering is blessed and is much bigger than the Powwow Committee. We humbly realize from the last 26 years of being trusted stewards of the Gathering of Nations, that a minimal minority have ulterior motives or channel their own personal issues through cowardly mistruths utilizing email and the internet. When we first received this email from our friends, just before the Gathering, we chose not to dignify the email with a response. Inevitably and gratefully, many of Gathering of Nations fans, friends, and family have written and asked us to reply. In defense to those, Native and non-Native people, who willingly choose to attend the Gathering of Nations year after year and have a positive experience, we are personally offended on behalf of our fans, friends, and family being referred to as 'exploited' and we must speak up for them. In one line Mr. Whitstone, compares the Gathering to atrocities committed against Native peoples and this is ridiculous. This in particular is insulting and offensive to past and present attendees who have attend Gathering of Nations for entertainment, to share culture, to pray, to sing, to dance, to promote and celebrate Indigenous past and present issues.

We will address these false statements one by one:

1) Traders are housed in the main arena while the majority of Native vendors are located in a tent away from the Pow Wow.
False. Location assignment is random and there is no distinction between inside and outside vendors. Typically the people inside the arena are long time returnees with seniority and request that space, however, there are other vendors that prefer the tent.

2) Natives traveling from distant locations to participate in and hold on to their Native culture must pay ridiculous doorway fees as well as parking fees.
Gathering of Nations, as anyone in event production will understand, is a massive undertaking. Obviously Mr. Whitstone has no idea how much it costs to produce an event of this size. $15 a day for 14-16 hours each day is a bargain no matter how you look at it; and those who attend understand what it costs to produce the Gathering and they willingly pay to enter. And for returning dancers, it's $12 a day. Additionally, the venue must be rented days in advance to prepare. In comparison, how much will one spend on a movie or a concert? The parking fees are dictated and collected by the University of New Mexico. Gathering of Nations does not receive any of the proceeds from parking. Darwin Whitstone obviously has never produced a major powwow. Most reasonable people understand the costs involved. Facility fees, insurance, utilities, security, Head Staff, Invited Drums, advertising, support staff and other workers, sound and light production, $175,000 in contest prizes, and other numerous expenses all add up quickly. Even before all of the bills are paid, money is transferred to the Gathering of Nations Scholarship fund that benefits Native students at the University of New Mexico. For more facts on this and some additional contributions made to the Native community, visit About the Gathering of Nations, Ltd. Organization.

3) Any Brothers wanting to record must register their recorders and pay a fee to record.
False. There is no such recording fee.

4) Outdoor drinks and meals are not allowed – forcing participants and spectators to purchase expensive food and drinks indoors.
False. Outside food and drinks are allowed and no one is forced to purchase food at the Gathering.

5) This one Powwow generates enough money to hold ten more powwows of that magnitude, and yet, Mr. Powwow Coordinator in an interview with the Navajo Times, states, “The remainder of the money is used to fund next year’s powwow.”
False. Refer to #2 above.

6) The Pow Wow coordinator (NON-INDIAN) demonstrates ignorance and/or blatant disrespect for Native culture.
False. This is a non-issue, the "Pow wow coordinator" respects traditional life and participates in many ceremonies away from the Gathering with spiritual leaders.

And again, Mr. Whitstone goes on about the money:
"Although money is needed to fund pow wows, they should not be exploited for the benefit of one person..."
No one is exploited and many people benefit from the event. Over 2 million dollars is received by the vendors at the Indian Traders Market. The Gathering is a major employer of Natives and non-Natives for the weekend and a major event that stimulates the economy at a local, state, and national level. In addition, the event funds the University of New Mexico Scholarship for Native students.

We're happy to provide this information, as the person reading this will now have proper information to choose whether or not to believe the lies being circulated by Mr. Whitstone. Please consider Mr. Whitstone's blatant disregard in not researching his information before circulating it relative to Gathering of Nations 26 years of service and celebration of Native and global indigenous peoples. Gathering of Nations accomplishments stand on their own strong foundation and Mr. Whitstone's accusations have no merit or documented proof.

Our staff is, happy and tired :-), and is already planning for the 2010 Gathering of Nations!

Again, to our fans, friends, and family of the Gathering of Nations, our sincere appreciation and our continued commitment to you to produce the best Gathering possible. Thank you for your prayers and we are praying you receive what you are praying for.

See you in 2010 and safe travels this Powwow season!

The Mathews family on behalf of the Gathering of Nations

Last edited by Paul G; 04-28-2009 at 04:18 PM..
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:10 PM   #28
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The truth of the matter is that it's 2009 people-this isn't 1941 when it was easier to say, "You don't like what Hitler is doing to the Jews? Oh well, don't go to Germany". Is that what we Native People have come to? Let's just look the other way and hand over our $30+ to this organization that probably does not have the best interests of Native people at heart?

While I'm at it, let's discuss another money making venture of the Gathering of Nations, as in Miss Indian World-is everyone aware that the contestants are judged on basic Pageant type things such as interviewing, talent and presentation along with RAFFLE TICKET SALES????? They actually acrue points for the number of tickets sold but have to sell a minimum amount which I think is $250 in tickets. So what does the GON organization do with that money?

My point is, there is NOT anything associated with GON where someone doesn't have to pay for something. The whole thing is about money.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:24 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by skybird5 View Post
The truth of the matter is that it's 2009 people-this isn't 1941 when it was easier to say, "You don't like what Hitler is doing to the Jews? Oh well, don't go to Germany". Is that what we Native People have come to? Let's just look the other way and hand over our $30+ to this organization that probably does not have the best interests of Native people at heart?

While I'm at it, let's discuss another money making venture of the Gathering of Nations, as in Miss Indian World-is everyone aware that the contestants are judged on basic Pageant type things such as interviewing, talent and presentation along with RAFFLE TICKET SALES????? They actually acrue points for the number of tickets sold but have to sell a minimum amount which I think is $250 in tickets. So what does the GON organization do with that money?

My point is, there is NOT anything associated with GON where someone doesn't have to pay for something. The whole thing is about money.
Trying to compare this to Hitler is going way over the line!

Have you read the rules for Miss Indian World? The points for the raffle are only used in a tie.

And don't most pow wows you go to have some type of raffle?
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by took a look View Post
2) Natives traveling from distant locations to participate in and hold on to their Native culture must pay ridiculous doorway fees as well as parking fees.
Gathering of Nations, as anyone in event production will understand, is a massive undertaking. Obviously Mr. Whitstone has no idea how much it costs to produce an event of this size. $15 a day for 14-16 hours each day is a bargain no matter how you look at it; and those who attend understand what it costs to produce the Gathering and they willingly pay to enter. And for returning dancers, it's $12 a day. Additionally, the venue must be rented days in advance to prepare. In comparison, how much will one spend on a movie or a concert? The parking fees are dictated and collected by the University of New Mexico. Gathering of Nations does not receive any of the proceeds from parking. Darwin Whitstone obviously has never produced a major powwow. Most reasonable people understand the costs involved. Facility fees, insurance, utilities, security, Head Staff, Invited Drums, advertising, support staff and other workers, sound and light production, $175,000 in contest prizes, and other numerous expenses all add up quickly. Even before all of the bills are paid, money is transferred to the Gathering of Nations Scholarship fund that benefits Native students at the University of New Mexico. For more facts on this and some additional contributions made to the Native community, visit About the Gathering of Nations, Ltd. Organization.

3) Any Brothers wanting to record must register their recorders and pay a fee to record.
False. There is no such recording fee.

Ok, so there it is in Black and White-the INVITED drums are paid by the organization and for that matter so is the Head Staff-which means that the Invited drums got paid twice and so did any head staff who competed and won-ok, so why not cut out that particular expense and either don't invite them or don't let them compete? That would help cut down on the "numerous expenses that add up quickly" wouldn't it?

Well, now how about the whole truth? As in there is no fee because there is NO Recording? Or did Gathering suddenly let people start recording the drums? Last time I was there, recorders weren't allowed to record so that GON could release the recordings and people would have to PAY to buy the CD's, therefore putting more money in the pocket of the organization.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:41 PM   #31
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Well, now how about the whole truth? As in there is no fee because there is NO Recording? Or did Gathering suddenly let people start recording the drums? Last time I was there, recorders weren't allowed to record so that GON could release the recordings and people would have to PAY to buy the CD's, therefore putting more money in the pocket of the organization.
It was 3 and 4 people deep all weekend around the drums.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:42 PM   #32
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It's a Business....

GON is a business.

GON is a business.

Business revolves around making money.

Money is the drivng force.

People with the money get treated with preference.

Traders probably pay more for booth space location than Native Vendors.

The "partnership" with Powwows.com webcast fits the model

for promoting business.

A comp for a room and 2 passes is cheap cost of doing business,

compared to what may be brought by the webcast promotion.

Money is the driving force.

It's just a fact of life, today.

Another fact is that the people who attend GON

have POWER by withholding their $$$.

You just need to do it if you strongly believe in your "cause".

These are the "dynamics" of an event this size.

Just my observation and my humble opinion.

More simply put, in the business world:

The Golden Rule

"Those with the Gold, make the Rules."
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:43 PM   #33
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Trying to compare this to Hitler is going way over the line!

Have you read the rules for Miss Indian World? The points for the raffle are only used in a tie.

And don't most pow wows you go to have some type of raffle?
I've never attended a pageant or worked with a pageant committee that forced the contestants to pay a fee to enter-which is what $250 in raffle ticket sales is. Besides covering all their own expenses to travel there, they have to have a minimum amount of money to enter as a contestant, that's the bottom line. And if the points from the raffle ticket sales are only used in a tie, then why have them at all? There are plenty of other ways to break a tie.

And I'm not comparing Mr. Mathews to Hitler, I'm comparing the blindness of the public to seeing the real issue of exploitation in the same regard as the public NOT doing anything to help the Jews.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veon View Post
GON is a business.

GON is a business.

Business revolves around making money.

Money is the drivng force.

People with the money get treated with preference.

Traders probably pay more for booth space location than Native Vendors.

The "partnership" with Powwows.com webcast fits the model

for promoting business.

A comp for a room and 2 passes is cheap cost of doing business,

compared to what may be brought by the webcast promotion.

Money is the driving force.

It's just a fact of life, today.

Another fact is that the people who attend GON

have POWER by withholding their $$$.

You just need to do it if you strongly believe in your "cause".

These are the "dynamics" of an event this size.

Just my observation and my humble opinion.

More simply put, in the business world:

The Golden Rule

"Those with the Gold, make the Rules."
THANK YOU! That puts it quite simply but is so true.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:48 PM   #35
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It was 3 and 4 people deep all weekend around the drums.
What does that mean? Were they recording or just standing there-that happens at ALL pow wows. If they were recording, that's a new occurrence because the last time I was there I saw recorders being confiscated by security and people asked to leave the event because they were recording, and that's great if they FINALLY decided to let the NATIVE singers record their own singing, out of what 24 years? It had to happen eventually, LOL.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:49 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veon View Post
[CENTER]

The "partnership" with Powwows.com webcast fits the model

for promoting business.

A comp for a room and 2 passes is cheap cost of doing business,

compared to what may be brought by the webcast promotion.

/CENTER]
I'm very proud of this partnership! PowWows.com is business! And I hope we do bring in some $ as you are implying!

And let me ask you this, if Gathering is a business, why begrudge them from making money? Shouldn't we be proud that a native family has the entrepreneurial spirit?
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:50 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by skybird5 View Post
What does that mean? Were they recording or just standing there-that happens at ALL pow wows. If they were recording, that's a new occurrence because the last time I was there I saw recorders being confiscated by security and people asked to leave the event because they were recording, and that's great if they FINALLY decided to let the NATIVE singers record their own singing, out of what 24 years? It had to happen eventually, LOL.
Yes they were recording! PowWows.com had a few people at the drums as well. You'll see those videos uploaded later this week!
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:57 PM   #38
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who said we couldnt record...no one ever told me...lol here i was all along breaking the rules with the other 20 people around the drum...lol
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:07 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul G View Post
And let me ask you this, if Gathering is a business, why begrudge them from making money? Shouldn't we be proud that a native family has the entrepreneurial spirit?
But at what cost? It's almost like African Americans making money by selling slaves isn't it? They are exploiting the culture they claim to have-and can they be called a Native Family if they aren't all Native? Please don't sugar coat the fact that Mr. Mathews isn't Native, I think everyone knows that already.

Yes, we as Natives should be proud of another Native persons entrepreneurial spirit, but not if its at the cost of other Natives own sense of pride, culture and feelings.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:04 PM   #40
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No Disrespect intended.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul G View Post
I'm very proud of this partnership! PowWows.com is business! And I hope we do bring in some $ as you are implying!

And let me ask you this, if Gathering is a business, why begrudge them from making money? Shouldn't we be proud that a native family has the entrepreneurial spirit?

I don't begrudge anyone of making money. It's the "American Way", right?
Capitalism, consumerism, etc. Its the world we live in.

I was merely pointing out the dynamics of a business, the driving force behind a business.

Money.

I was also pointing out that as consumers, the people with money,

who attend this event, are also the people with POWER.



Rightfully so, you should be proud of your business. A good business recognizes good partnerships,

therefore good business opportunities.

Partnerships are part of the success of a business.

GON has many partnerships.....of which vendors and people

who attend this event are part of the business.




The source of complaints on this thread appears

to be a clash of cultures (values).

The Indian and the non-Indian values are in conflict at this event.

The Indian culture, not necessarily evolving around money,

but around fellowship, acknowledgement of tradition, respect.


Rarely does an organization, successfully coordinate a powwow, that both

promotes culture and yet is a successful money-making event.

It either has to be identified as a community/tribal powwow (not necessarily

making $, if so, then great!)

OR

a business

promoting powwow contests and competition..

Based on my observation and based on the complaints on this thread,

GON appears to be more of a business, than a powwow.

People should understand that and not expect

culture to be the primary force

of such an event.

Its a business.
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