Sanford Bemidji’s 18th Annual Niimi’idiwin Celebrates Spiritual, Cultural Healing
Tradition and culture together were the main focus at Sanford Health’s 18th annual Niimi’idiwin (powwow) held in Bemidji. The celebration offered an event for both those who usually take part in powwows and the community as a whole.
The day started with registrations and a grand entry led by the honor guard and eagle staffs. Audiences were then treated to special dances throughout the day.
While the main event brought Indigenous culture to the foreground, some at Sanford say they are also working behind-the-scenes to continue this awareness.
“It’s through smudging, pipe ceremonies, or other types of ceremonies, or cedar baths that [patients] want to do while they’re hospitalized,” said Sanford Health Bemidji Native American Community Advocate Rebekah Fineday. “Sanford and staff are learning more about these and learning more ways of how to assist patients as part of their own individual healing journey can be a part of this.”
Over 150 dancers took part in the event. A meal of Red Lake walleye and Leech Lake wild rice was also served.