Mille Lacs Band Host Powwow Honoring Veterans
The heart of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Native Americans sang tribute to the veterans today during their 19th annual Memorial Day Powwow. They says it’s their way of saying thank you.
Allen Weyaus, Mille Lacs Post 53 post commander, says, “Our warriors and our veterans are the people who provide the freedom for us. The provided, the sacrificed their lives so we could have powwows like today.”
The Ojibwe members say they each have their own personal reason for why they sing and dance at the powwow.
Brianna LeGarde from the Anishinaabe tribe says, “I dance for my family and myself. I really like dancing I just love the music and just participating in something that can be really tiny like this or super huge. There’s powwows that reach up to a thousand dancers.”
Kevin Decota, a member of the Lac Du Flambeau tribe says, “People will tend to say they dance for people too, but sometimes you dance for yourself and your own strength and your own reasons. I dance for a dream and vision I had. I try to dance in that way in remembrance of that, because I carry that with me. And I carry certain elders’ feathers on me and veterans’ feathers on me. And I try to remember that.”
The powwow features different songs and dances. Some are traditional while others are for specific dancers. There was even one for the veterans.
Weyaus says, “We asked the Little Otter Singers to do a good veterans’ song. It was an old veteran song that they sing. Singing about our warriors who are overseas and coming home.”
Decota says, “I try to dance for them all the times. Remember my veterans, my grandpa, my great uncle and my dad. All them and my other uncles.”
Today’s not just about remembering the veterans. But, also celebrating friends and family.
LeGarde says, “It’s just a place to get out of the city and go see family and friends and visit with everyone.”
Weyaus says, “We really enjoy seeing the new faces. Seeing the young people come. See some of the old people. It’s like a big family event.”
Mille Lacs Band says they host three powwows a year and everyone is welcome to join.