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Old 11-12-2004, 03:16 PM   #41
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1) The Coastal Carolina Indian Center was founded by my mother, Teresa Morris. I am the vice president of the Coastal Carolina Indian Center. My name is Sara Macias. We were both there throughout the powwow. There are other individuals involved with CCIC-- all who were present at the powwow. Anytime you saw someone calling Teresa Morris to the circle to be honored-- that was someone honoring CCIC. Anytime you heard someone make mention of the people who were there as organizers, etc... that was CCIC. To find out about CCIC, go to the website and read the mission statement. CCIC is a very young organization. Only about a year old (formally).

And as a side note, my mother is not even a powwow person. It's just something she's never been very involved with... so I'm particularly proud of her for all the hard work she did in pulling it all together. Despite being a high school teacher who drives 110 miles ONE WAY to and from work everyday, she still found the time to coordinate vendors, line up Black Lodge, communicate with John Blackfeather and work with the base on their involvement. Not everyone would have been able to juggle so much at once.

2) There were NO arts grants given for this powwow. I don't know where that rumor started. Onslow County Tourism contributed a donation or sponsorship, but it didn't even cover a THIRD of the expenses involved with putting on this powwow. There were a few other sponsors-- all of whom were thanked on the website and in the printed program that was available to everyone as they entered/registered.

The contribution made by Onslow County hardly covered paying the MC (whether it was a donation or not-- the fact is, he was paid with money from Onslow County), Eastern Bull and part of the rental of the fairgrounds for three days. Onslow County also helped with some of the hotel rooms-- but we had to pay for the rest out of our budget.

Now what all else had to be paid for? The head man dancer had to be paid. As did Black Lodge & Cedartree. A one million dollar insurance policy had to be purchased for having the event at the fairgrounds (no, that doesn't mean we had to PAY one million dollars. That just means the policy covered up to one million in damages), non-refundable airplane tickets were purchased for some of our special guests (two of which could not make it due to serious illness), hotel rooms for all involved with the event whose rooms were NOT covered by Onslow County's assistance.... let's see... materials used for the educational fair, bales of hay that lined the dance circle, water for singers/dancers, gifts were purchased for honoring our guests-- including things like Pendleton blankets, Eagle trophies, jewelry, etc., taxi fares for transportation of some of the members of Black Lodge, meals for staff... wow... the list just goes on and on.

The fact is that although there were some donations given towards this powwow (sponsorships), CCIC still assumed responsibily for being able to pay for EVERYTHING that wasn't already covered by the donations- and believe me, that added up to quite a bit.

3) There was a representative from Onslow County Tourism at the powwow on Sunday. She is Lumbee, by the way. She was there helping to admit people, stamp hands, etc., as we were VERY understaffed when it came to people who could work inside. Again, she was thanked, as was Onslow County Tourism-- and all other sponsors. Just because we didn't bring everyone who helped with the powwow out to be honored with the microphone at the circle, doesn't mean we didn't honor them and thank them in public.

4) The decision for all vendors to have to be packed up and out by midnight Sunday was NOT MADE BY CCIC. We were notified by the man who manages the American Legion Bldg and Fairgrounds just shortly before we notified the vendors. It was a tremendous hassle to us, as it was to our vendors-- trying to wrap up so much in so little time. That's one of the main reasons why the powwow ended around 5pm on Sunday-- to give everyone as much time as possible to pack up-- including us. Unfortunately, there was a big mess left out on the fairgrounds from various vendors not having a place to put trash bags because the big dumpsters were full so my mom and I ended up going out there on Monday to clean up the trash from the grounds. All of the complications that were presented to us by having the event at the fairgrounds are the primary reason we will not be having ANY events at the fairgrounds in the foreseeable future. We (the organizers) were made to feel less than welcome at various points throughout the educational fair and powwow-- even though we had to pay handsomely to rent the place. It ended up causing us a lot of last minute problems.
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Old 11-12-2004, 03:19 PM   #42
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5) Yes, we were given a number of suggestions about how to conduct this powwow-- and with all due respect, we made the decision not to follow all of the suggestions given to us by John Blackfeather. One of them was to only have 2 food vendors, but absolutely no more than three. This was to protect the sales of the vendors suggested to us by John Blackfeather. The same was true of the suggestion to limit the number of vendors to around 25 or so. I (and I'm only speaking for myself here) got the impression that John's vendors didn't want us bringing in anyone but them so that they wouldn't have to face competition and worry about making a lot of sales. Our view was this was a first time event and it would be unfair to be prejudiced and only allow vendors associated with one MC to participate in this powwow. The way the free market works is to bring in whoever wants to pay and whoever claims to meet the criteria for quality and price of merchandise-- provided we have space for them. Consumers will do the rest of the work as far as deciding who they want to support (buy merchandise from) and those vendors who are successful will be content with their sales and want to participate again next year. Naturally, we want vendors who have merchandise that the people who come to the powwow want to buy-- as long as the merchandise is high quality and in good taste.

At this powwow, there was AMPLE space for the vendors we had-- no one was positioned in front of or behind anyone else-- unlike some other powwows I've been to with less space AND less vendors. Everyone had an equal shot at making good sales. If they didn't, it wasn't because they weren't visible.

A few of the vendors we had dragged their feet about getting their applications in. In those cases, we did end up assuming that without a signed application filled out, that they had not yet committed to coming-- which allowed us the opportunity to give other vendors not involved with John Blackfeather's powwows to come in.

I know there were some prejudiced individuals who were complaining about the fact that there were Quichua Indians from Peru and Ecuador selling merchandise at this powwow. John Blackfeather told me himself he didn't think those kinds of things belong at powwows-- that only Indians from North America should be selling their stuff at powwows. I beg to differ. Indians from south of the border are no less Indian than anyone here is simply because they speak Spanish. My husband is Mexican native and my son is half-Mexican so don't even get me started on how offensive that is to me.

As far as food vendors go, I'm glad we ended up allowing at least one more major food vendor to come. They were from Minnesota and sold the biggest frybread and Indian tacos at the powwow-- and everything with buffalo meat. They were tremendously successful and they had excellent prices, from what I was told by some of our staff. They offered something to the consumers that the consumers wanted-- and for that reason, we'll be happy to have them back. The only reason I can imagine anyone would be upset with their being there would be because they might have taken some business away from the two John Blackfeather-suggested food vendors. I'm not sure why-- I didn't compare menus or prices, but perhaps there were more or different choices, or better prices. In any case, there were enough people at this powwow to buy from ALL of the food vendors... and there were steady lines at all of them, so I'd think they were all successful.

6) I -- speaking on behalf of the Coastal Carolina Indian Center -- don't hold hard feelings against anyone, but I can say that we have learned that we know what worked this year, we know what didn't work this year.... so next year we'll adjust accordingly. That goes for changes in location, head staff, vendors, etc...

We did not hold this event as the primary goal and focus of the CCIC. The primary goal and focus of the Coastal Carolina Indian Center is to eventually buy back land here in eastern NC and build a cultural center dedicated to honoring and educating about the tribes of the coastal plains region.

We want people to come to the event with a positive attitude-- and the ones we welcome most are the ones who want to be there. As for next year's event, provided we even decide to have one, we would encourage anyone who wants to have a negative viewpoint or who wants to be contrary or devisive and fault-finding to please consider visiting one of the other powwows going on in the southeast region for that weekend. On the otherhand, anyone who wants to be positive and optimistic and wants to look forward to growing with us, by all means, keep a look out for details about the next powwow and we'll be thrilled to have you there.

7) I would encourage all of you to please do some serious fact-checking before coming on here and posting rumors. Just because you heard it, doesn't necessarily make it true. I've heard a lot of things about this powwow, too... and a lot of them are quite funny. Not at all true, but funny.

I heard before the event happened that Black Lodge wasn't really going to be there and the Ross Perot coming to the powwow wasn't the same one as the one who ran for president.

I guess everyone who was at the powwow this weekend saw the truth about those two. Yes, Black Lodge was there. Yes, Ross Perot was there-- the same Ross Perot who ran for president.

8) Since APRIL we (the organizers) have been battling rumors and negativity that have come from a handful of the "Shed Indians". (I'm not saying ALL of you, but there are a few of you who have been bad-mouthing this powwow since earlier in the year-- you know who you are!) The fact is that just because we didn't do everything John's way doesn't mean the way we did things is wrong. After all, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

No, we didn't do everything perfect-- but it was a learning experience. A few things we've learned...

- We need a bigger staff and an Arena Director who is physically able to do his job at all times. If he can't, we need an alternate we can count on.

- We have learned which vendors we want back, and which ones might do best at a different sort of event. Vendor invitations will go out accordingly.

- We have been fielding suggestions for different MCs, Arena Directors next year.

- Next year's powwow will only be a Saturday event, or perhaps Saturday and Sunday-- but it will not be 3 days.

- It will NOT be held at the Onslow County Fairgrounds.

- The educational fair will most likely be completely separate from the powwow.

- We will not be doing dancer registration fees in the future (unless we at some point become a competition powwow)-- but we also won't be doing any raffles for dancers to win money. And despite John Blackfeather's suggestion that we should PAY the first 25 dancers to come and dance, we won't be doing that either. If someone wants to come dance at our powwow, then great-- but we aren't paying people to perform or entertain. The only people who will be paid to come to the powwow are the drums and the head staff (MC, Arena Director and possibly head man and woman dancer-- depending on where they come from and how they feel about being paid to be head dancer).

I did not get paid anything for all of the work I did putting this powwow together. My mother did not get paid anything for putting this powwow together. No one in our organization has received any sort of payment for organizing this powwow. THIS WAS A VOLUNTEER EFFORT ON OUR PARTS.

We did not go into this thing to make tons of money or get rich. We wanted to put together a great powwow that people would really enjoy and remember. For the most part, I'd say we succeeded. Sure, you can't please everybody. There will always be a few individuals who you can't please... but we take comfort in the phone calls and e-mails we've gotten since Sunday about how much people enjoyed it and how much they're looking forward to it next year.
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:25 PM   #43
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Unhappy New Age..

I have never heard a dancer paying a fee.
The exception being if your contesting.
If you intend to do this it should be posted on your announcements,and the info given in all phone calls emails etc.
So the dancers have a choice if they want to drive all that way and then pay to dance.
Also it may have been better if you had given the dancers a choice if they wanted to take part or not.
Personaly I like the good ole days , intertribal ment intertribal.
And contesting was contesting.
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