Bemidji Area Attractions

Pow Wows

 When you attend a pow-wow at Red Lake you will find dancers honoring the Circle of Life. The Dancers dance sun-wise or clockwise in a circle. At the center are tribal flags. American flag and tribal staffs. At the beginning of each day’s celebration, all participants enter the dance grounds in a Grand Entry, an event you won’t want to miss. First come eagle staffs and color guards followed by the traditional dancers. grass and fancy feather dancers. Next enter the women traditional dancers, fancy dancers and jingle dress dancers. Junior boys and junior girls come next.

At the heart of any pow-wow is the drum. It is the heartbeat of the people and is much more than a musical instrument. Many drummers have practiced for years to learn the traditional songs of the people. Whether the drum is made of hides or is a more modern version, it is respected. Nothing is ever set on it and no one reaches across it. The singers who surround the drum are each connected to the power of the drum by their drumsticks.

Their are two types of pow-wows celebrated at Red Lake. traditional and competitive. At competitive events, dancers and drum groups are judged on their performance throughout the pow-wow. With prizes at stake, their regalia (not costumes), and attention to detail is serious business. You will enjoy the traditional dance steps and the splendor of fancy dancers, grass dancers, traditional dancers. jingle dancers and shawl dancers. But when an inter-tribal dance is announced, everyone is welcome to join in. You won't need traditional attire. Just answer the drum, and the invitation of your Red Lake friends. Everyone is welcome in the Circle Traditional pow-wows are more local, and of course are not competitive.

Please show respect by standing during the Grand Entry and during the honor Songs. We ask that you remove caps or hats during Honor songs. During an Eagle Feather Ceremony. pipe ceremony, or a prayer offering, please stand and remove your hat. These are the few times we ask that you do not use your camera. And last but not least try the many types of foods at a pow-wow and look over the arts and crafts. That’s what pow-wows are about. celebrating and feasting. If you’ve never tasted Indian fry bread, you are in for a treat. Drugs and alcohol are always prohibited at pow-wows.



Red Lake Independence Day Contest Pow-wow
Typically the1st weekend of July  - Pow-wow grounds Red Lake Seven Clans Casino location. (celebrates the1889 agreement with the U.S. government acknowledging Red Lake as an independent sovereign Tribal Nation.)
Red Lake Indian Fair and Traditional Pow-wow
This event is held annually between the second and fourth weekend in August depending on the crops which are exhibited along with handicrafts, and school exhibits. Other highlights include a parade and the selection of royalty comprised of Miss Red Lake Nation. Jr., Miss Red Lake Nation and Red Lake Brave, whereby young ladies and boys are selected to represent the Red Lake Nation throughout pow-wows as well as other events for one year.

Labor Day Traditional Pow-wow
Labor Day Weekend at the traditional community of Ponemah


Wee-Gitchie-Ne-Me-E-Dim - 'Big Dance'
Labor Day Contest Pow-wow
Veteran's Memorial Grounds, Cass Lake, MN
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