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Late Ending PowWows Kill!!

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  • Late Ending PowWows Kill!!

    Relatives & Friends,

    First of all, my sympathies and support to Darryl Jack and family. Know that your loss is felt across Pow Wow country and will not be taken lightly. As is the case in the following.

    Sure, the title of this thread is strong, controversial even, but necessary in order to generate enough attention and buzz that change eventually comes about sooner, rather than later.

    I attended Keehewin Pow Wow this past weekend, and also got back extremely late and in fact, lost a day at work because of it. Now of course, this was my choice to attend the Pow Wow and see it through from start to finish as I am a competitive singer. But it is not my choice to coordinate an event that could have easily ended at a reasonable time.

    I mean, what kind of sense does it make to force people, that have travelled hundreds of miles to participate, to have to wait and wait and wait, until the Sun has just about peaked over the horizon, just to find out whether they got the shaft or placed in their respective category? Surely, Pow Wow committees, being Pow Wow orientated, know that many of those that attend their celebration also work for a living, right? Or how about those that go to school, what about our students??

    And yes, I am complaining, but more on the edge where I hope that this message can be used to spread awareness through word of mouth. Specifically, I ask all of you to add your own opinions to this message in regards to how Pow Wow committees should rethink how they orchestrate the events on Sundays.

    The time is now for Pow Wow peoples to become more reasonable as to when and how they organize and complete their events. I don't know about you all, but I don't mind leaving early on Friday from work to make Grand Entry, but I do HATE with a passion when Pow Wows end late Sunday. That long drive home can really test you, especially if you are the only one in your drum group with the license to drive.

    So yeah, add your thoughts, fwd this message to as many peoples that apply. As a final note, I would hate to see anyone of you, your relatives or myself or my family experience anything what the Jack family has. For we have no idea how it feels to be in their shoes. So let's make the change together and use our creative abilities to help Pow Wows restructure. After all, how many lives must be lost, or disrupted before we get the point?


  • #2
    This is a very excellent point. It seems like the powwow on Sunday night can drag on and on. Lets be more aware of how late it is and how far families travel to the powwow. Even when a powwow starts early Sunday afternoon it usually ends around 12 or 1 o'clock. Indian time shouldn't mean a time of carelessness.


    • #3
      late ending powwows r hard on the dancers specially the drivers and the lilkids ~~~however i really dont mind them :)



      ..Estayapi..Mandaree..BLACKSTONE ..HIGHNOON..


      LynxClan..N0rtheRnCree..Tatae`Topaw..MeskwakiNatio n..

      Eva-Hey Nakota
      NorthernWInd ojibwe plainz
      RIP lil brother


      • #4
        Last edited by Brisa26; 04-13-2008, 03:53 PM.


        • #5
          You have made some excellent points--it isn't healthy, it isn't safe, it isn't cost-effective for pow-wows to run til 9, 10, 11 pm on Sunday night.

          Pow-wow Committees for pow-wows that are normally 2 day (Sat/Sun)and that consistently run late need to consider starting Friday night and ending earlier on Sunday--early enough that dancers/drummers/singers/families, etc. don't have to stay over yet another night or bust a move trying to drive through the night to get home. I've lain awake too many Sunday nights/Monday morning waiting to hear that pick-up drive in and the front door open so I knew my man was safe. With so many families on the pow-wow trail l because it helps them economically this early schedule could work--it still may require travel time that cuts into everyone's schedule, but at least leaving a.m. or mid-day Friday to get to the pow-wow you are relatively fresh and alert on the road--the same of which can't be said for the return trip late Sunday night.

          My second thought is this. I competed for a number of years--not in pow-wow but in showing horses grand prix jumping. Like pow-wow it always went Sat/Sun, sometimes Fri/Sat/Sun. Like pow-wow we would sometimes have more than one 'go-round'. Regardless, when our 'contest' was over, the awards were given out then--tired riders and horses were not forced to hang around to the very end of the show just to see if they won. This did not detract from the festive atmosphere or comraderie; and horse show familes had quality time together, kids rarely missed school and I can't think of one family that lost loved ones traveling to shows in the many years I did this. Since I've been around pow-wows (seven years) I need two hands to count the casualties and victims.

          I think this discussion is much needed and these changes a win-win for everyone. If the pow-wows revised their schedules and 'agenda' as above they might just attract more participants and spectators, too.

          Thank you for listening and thank you Tootoosis1972 for having the courage to open this discussion.
          Damme ape’semmai, "Andabichidaiboonee’ gimmadu’i.Wihyu memme hainjinee’ nahandu’i. Enne wizha sudei’ tsaangu mabizhiahkande," mai.

          The Creator said, "A foreign race of white people will come, who will become your friends. You should treat them well."

          The Creator sure had a strange sense of humor!


          • #6
            good thread!
            Last edited by BurBz; 08-24-2005, 12:09 PM.


            • #7
              I know how that's ending soooo late!
              Really sucks esp when it comes for the long drive home *ugh* very good point there....and yes why is it always the last day of the pw, that they have to do the specials?
              Bottom line.....i hate pw's ending so late!

              Who won?


              • #8
                Im not NDN but I agree. Even when I have the chance to sing at a powwow I am there until the end becuase I have to sing. I dont travel as extensivley as most of you guys but even for me drive 100 miles tired is really dangerous, I can only imagine driving 8 or 10 or even more hours.

                I stayed at Schemitzun a few times until 2 or 3am. I have seen kids contests running at 9pm other places!

                It is unhealty, especially for a singer, your voice needs rest just like your muscles. Even if Im not singing non stop but am up for at least 24 hours, i loose my voice anyway.

                I lost a friend last year who was driving home from a powwow. I dont know if it was because he was tired or what, he is the only person who knows. He probably was because he left work at 5pm to drive 2 hours to sing and dance, we didnt go late but he was probably up late and left early in the morning. I still feel bad because I didnt see him before I left, I figured Id see him at the next powwow.

                Committees have to learn that not every competition dancer dances for a living. You should have to risk your life for a competition.
                There are 2 types of people in the world...
                Really stupid people who think they are smart
                Really smart people who think they are smart.


                • #9
                  This is a good post. It's tough to work and try to powwow on the weekends.


                  • #10
                    ahhhhhh well just wanna say thanks to tootoosis for bringing this up, me and a friend were just discussing this today. Sorry, this is a long post but I have been thinking about this alot. This tragedy has left me thinking and rethinking about the priorities of life and some of the decisions I have made or will make in the future. I do have alot of times I drive hours and hours to make it home, no matter how tired I was, so I could make it home. Even though sometimes I did end up calling in on a Monday, I made the decision to just push through it, drink lots of red bulls, etc. I can say, and admit it, not all my decisions have been right or the sanist ones. However, I knew when I was tired enough to just pull over and rest.

                    I agree that SUNDAY's is just horrid especially in the hot summer sun (which makes the drive worse being that the sun makes you even more tired after being in it all day) and the sweltering heat. And, to top it off Sunday's over here in NM/AZ are all mostly used for specials, etc. which drag out your days even more.

                    For example, this past weekend the Sunday was all about specials which is okay but dang just dragged on. This made me more tired and then I had a 3 hr drive home from there at 8pm. This is really nothing to me but it was hot, I was grumpy, lol, I was tired, and hungry (not even an indian taco or hamburger in sight). This could have been prevented and finished earlier but the grand entries were pushed up (both days) another hour. So of course they made up that other hour in the end. Committee's really need to put it in perspective not everyone is living within a 30 mile radius.

                    Anyhow, in light of recent events, not just the Jack Family but many other families out there who've lost loved ones, I have had to make more 'sane' decisions about travelling and limit myself to where we are going to powwow. I, too have a 6 year old, and I do not know what I would do if I ever lost him due to my own carelessness. I know that from now on, I have to act as a responsible parent and make the sanist decisions so we can travel safely.

                    I sooooo agree and think Powwow Commitee's need to rethink their Grand Entry times, powwow times, dates, etc. I kinda like how Gathering is operated, yes, they go really late on a saturday night but man, you have time to recover sunday, sleep, get rest, and have more time to get home. Maybe even start your powwows earlier, like 11am or 12 grand entry? the 2nd grand entry at 530 or 6??? Let us eat earlier....LOL. And how bout some FREE COFFEE/TEA/REDBULL... not just for the headstaff but for the drivers.... :D.

                    I also liked the other mentioned idea, about announcing the jr or other contest winners earlier? Sometimes its really hard to wake up or keep a lil one awake when it runs so late. And the absolute worse thing is having a JR tiebreaker at 11pm at nite after he's been asleep for 2 hours. Jeesh, I had to do this once and it was bad, had to wake him up, keep him outside to keep awake and give him mtn dew just so that he could do his tiebreaker. Poor lil thing was sleep dancing, he tried but was just too tired. Ohhhhhh that was just wrong of the committee to do that and here we are trying to be responsible parents and let our lil ones get their sleep. *S*

                    Anyhow, I also liked how the powwows are up north, at least when I was living in Lapwai (Chief Joseph Powwow) how they had all their honorings, specials, giveaways all day on Friday which saved all the contests and more intertribals for the rest of the days. I remember they only had the headstaff specials during the powwow (trying to

                    Well thats all my dollars worth......*S*. Now I know when I am going to organize a powwow/event in the future the safety of the participants lives will be considered and taken care of.

                    PS..... even if your travelling a long way, make sure everyone is buckled or tied down. I know I am making sure my lil one is belted in even if it is just a 2 mile ride. *S*.

                    Many safe travels to all.........

                    PPS.....The gas prices are also helping us not to travel that far....jeesssssh. Someone should start a Powwow Trail Busline.... :D
                    You have crossed my path, You will never be forgotten......

                    EMAIL ME for GON 2014 Special Hotel, Air, and Car availability. Powwow special rates across the US and Canada. I also offer great vacation, business, and specialty fares to every destination in the world! Email for the rates
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                    • #11
                      i posted something similiar to this over at ndnsports (don't ask - i was bad i went over to the dark side) entitled something like should pow wow committees be held legally responsible for people who die or are seriously hurt leaving their celebration? sure they have "disclaimers" on the bottoms their posters "not responsible for...blah, blah, and divorces"... and you can always leave and go home early as someone posted...

                      but doesn't come down to a moral question - sure YOU (the committee) might live 5 minutes down the road and make the decisions to - "lets have ten more intertribals" and another special who call people up a name at a time or have four elimination rounds of three songs each...and the sun is coming up over the horizon and the adults haven't even started their competitions. and those visitors that you were sooo proud to have at your celebration have to drive more than three, four, seven or ten hours away to get home and their jobs and their bed in their own home. maybe they got the shaft and can't afford get another hotel for that night and who can really really rest pulling over and sleeping in the front seat of your car?

                      we've all done it put our babies to sleep on little beds we've made on the floor of your car/van/truck - trying to cat nap while you wait for the announcements of the winners at 4 - 5 - 6:00 am thats am people - not 9 - 10 - 11 pm. tryna to stay awake thinking about how good your bed is going to feel and that tim hortons' in the next big town or starbucks for you americans. waiting for your cell phone to get a signal so you can leave a message at work that you'll be in at lunch after a couple hours of sleep and thanking the Creator when you finally drive up to your house.

                      pow wow committees can end their celebrations early and still put on a good show - i think the 7:00 grand entry should be outlawed first of all. marks on the judge's ballots should be well enough spaced out and odd numbers that ties would be mathematically impossible. if a number of ties do come up have some of them dance at the same time to the same song.

                      i was talking to some older people i know and they were saying we should go to the old days and have specials in the morning - some of you might remember the announcer calling for certain people - in the early morning light - to come up and get their gift item while YOU were lying in your tent trying to sleep cuz you went to bed at 4 the night after tryna to snag - thinking "shut up already - i'm tryna sleep" or even when they had camping day and they had all the specials then.

                      or if you yourself choose to have a special - try to keep it short - do you really need those five elimination rounds and call up every person you ever met? my family has had numerous specials and we've always kept them short and sweet - cuz it bugs us to have to wait through some long specials..even committees have to right to ask families to limit the time their special takes - i know i wouldn't be offended if a committee asked my family to keep it short and i would honor their request..

                      lets face it - we all got lazy...

                      if you know someone on a pow wow committee or you are on a pow wow committee - remember all those visitors you are so proud to have COME to your celebration and help them get home SAFE from your celebration

                      just my two and tootoosis1972 must come from the same place!! woo - hoo!! 1972 was a goot year i tell ya!!
                      Last edited by chazziff; 08-24-2005, 12:38 AM.
                      Watch your broken dreams...
                      Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon


                      • #12
                        Last edited by Brisa26; 04-13-2008, 03:52 PM.


                        • #13
                          at NDN Sports...its all messed up over there!!


                          If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving u
                          When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be u an me..


                          • #14
                            late ending pow wows kill!

                            We all have sad stories to share about loved ones who lost their lives going home from a pow wow on Sunday night. I agree and would like to urge all pow wow committees to be responsible about their schedules throughout the weekend and especially on Sunday. The arena director's role is crucial in this responsibility. If a committee has a strong AD, this person can help monitor and control schedules of the pow wow. Appropriate headstaff are needed for the different types of pow wows. Local headstaff serve well for local, smaller pow wows; nationally known, reputable headstaff are necessary for the bigger competitive pow wows. Often local committees have limited knowledge on running a big pow wow and it would behoove them to use headstaff who have extensive knowledge and experience in the arena.
                            Not all competitive dancers and singers do the circuits for their living; some of us do work and choose to compete on weekends. In respect and consideration, committees and their headstaff must support a healthy lifestyle for all of us who try to uphold our cultural lifestyle. Thank you for this thread.


                            • #15
                              Good thread Tootoosis1972! (Are you from Pound Maker Reserve and related to Gordon or Eric)?


                              "Powwows that end late penalize both people who work and students!"

                              I remember, as a kid, my parents pulling into our driveway, barely unpacking and getting ready to go to work, after just pulling in from a powwow.

                              I also remember some of my childhood friends who missed a lot of school because their parents put powwows ahead of their education. Some of these kids grew up and are continuing this cycle with their own children.

                              Not good.


                              When I help on powwow committees, I make sure I use these short-cuts to end powwows early on Sunday evening:

                              1. Get organized before the powwow starts.
                              2. Start grand entry right on time (or as close as possible to scheduled time).
                              3. Limit intertribals
                              4. Request "ahead of time" that only the committee can have a giveaway/special. (If other giveaways are necessary, call two names at a time).
                              5. Limit "political" speeches, specialty dances and last minute interruptions.
                              6. Inform the contestants ahead of time what order their contest will take place.
                              7. Call for judges and drums to be ready - one contest ahead of time. (It will be the contestant or drum's fault if they are not there when called).
                              8. Run one song per contest (Sunday only).
                              9. Make sure one dance contest is taking place in arena, while numbers are being taken on the side of the arena of preceding dance group. (I use two sets of judges and arena directors).
                              10. Run the drum contest starting with the first intertribal.
                              11. If possible have only adult contest and ties runoffs on Sunday.
                              12. Have payout pre-counted and in envelopes.
                              13. Keep the program moving w/ no dead spots.
                              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.


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