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Old 08-15-2006, 05:55 PM   #1
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From Paris to Nebraska, with love - Powwow attendees come from near and far

From Paris to Nebraska, with love
Powwow attendees come from near and far
By Nicole Paseka Journal staff writer

MACY, Neb. -- Some walked from their back yards to attend Thursday's powwow in Macy. Others journeyed halfway around the world.

Jean and Jeanne Ozbolt flew 22 hours on three planes to reach Macy from their home in Paris, France.

Their son, Ivan Ozbolt, 24, studied the Omaha Nation and wrote a book about the tribe two years ago. That was the Ozbolt family's first powwow attendance.

"(The Omahas) gave us a lot of love and a lot of friendship," said Jeanne Ozbolt. "They were very good with our son, and we know that. We don't forget that. They accepted him and helped him for his studies."

The Ozbolts were not the only ones bathed in hospitality Thursday afternoon. An entire nation came together to celebrate their heritage and the 202nd historically recorded powwow of the Omaha people.

Jeanne Ozbolt said the powwows have changed her forever.

"I feel in my heart that after our first stay here, my life is different," she said. "I see the life and the people different."

In large cities like Paris, people tend to be independent and keep to themselves, she said.

"Here, I see the families together and the people help together," Jeanne Ozbolt said with a grin.

Members of the Omaha Tribe and others will dance from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on today, Saturday and Sunday on land near Pow-Wow Drive in Macy. The public is invited to attend.

Education is a big component of the powwow.

Wynema Morris, 63, member of the Omaha Nation, was interviewed by North Shore Productions Inc. of Portland, Ore. The short documentary they are making will eventually be shown at the Durham Western Historical Museum in Omaha.

The film is about the history of Nebraska, and the creators decided to start with the American Indians.

"This was our ancestral land," Morris said, cradling her 10-month-old grandson, Ian Benally, on her lap. "Through a series of treaties, we lost over 300 million acres to our present-day 14-square-mile reservation that we have. Our lands basically shrunk around it."

At one time, there were only about 800 Omaha people left, Morris said. But now, about 6,000 Omaha live across the country and on the reservation.

Morris said she hopes visitors to the Durham Western Historical Museum will watch the film and learn not only about Nebraska, but about the history of her people.

"People who don't know anything about Nebraska and even much less about the original landowners, one of the things that they'll carry away is that they know the city of Omaha obviously was taken from our own name, which is Om-AH-ha. Omaha is the European pronunciation of our word for ourselves, so that's one of the things I hope they will learn," she said.

Related content

See video of the Omaha powwow.

Journal staff writer Nicole Paseka may be reached at 293-4276 or [email protected].

http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/arti...c70011ced4.txt
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