A Reader Writes . . .
I am pleased that you attend pow-wows directly to gain insight and information; however, I have to disagree with the review of the pow-wow held at Poplar Grove Plantation near Wilmington, N.C. this past weekend. As a matter of fact, I, and members of my tribe, will probably not be attending it anymore.
It was a far cry from what we are used to in regards to pow-wows, for example, keeping traditions alive, not to mention where were the Indians? Hello!!! This was, to say the least, nothing more than an exhibition to make money. Don't get me wrong, I like Mr. Hernandez but this has nothing to do with liking or disliking someone.
This pow-wow was filled with hobbyist, Boy Scouts, etc., etc. and my tribal members and I did not take too kindly to it. Had pow-wow officials carded dancers at this pow-wow you would have had only a handful of dancers, (Waccamaw Siouans, Lumbee, and Coharie to name a few) and not enough to make the money that was made off that pow-wow because those who were able attended the pow-wow at Richmond, Virginia.
When you dance at pow-wows you get to know other dancers who are in the circuit. The people that danced this weekend at Poplar Grove dance at this one pow-wow every year. Why? Because they would have been carded at other pow-wows like the Waccamaw Siouan, Lumbee, etc. I am not basing this on merely the color of one's skin. Our ancestors, elders and kindred alike have fought long and hard to get where we are for recognition and for other rights. This kind of pow-wow is not keeping our Native American heritage alive. If anything, it has made a mockery of it.
I am not a harsh person, but I do believe in taking a stand on certain issues. I am what I am and I don't profess to be anything other. There was a heated debate on this very topic in the Powwows.com forum. I can only imagine had some of those individuals attended this particular pow-wow what that discussion would have been like.
You have a poll on this Web page that asks should non-Natives be allowed to dance during exhibitions at pow-wows. In regard to the pow-wow at Poplar Grove Plantation, you could be asking, "Should Native Americans be allowed to dance at pow-wows?"