By: Lorrie Ward | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: August 2012
Don’t miss the brightly adorned dancers at the Pow Wow of Champions.
On August 17-19, 2012, the ORU Mabee Center (7777 S. Lewis in Tulsa) will burst to life with a colorful and vibrant display of Native American culture as the Intertribal Indian Club of Tulsa (IICOT) presents the 35th annual Pow Wow of Champions. The IICOT invites everyone to come and experience dance, drum music and song as tribes from across the nation congregate to strengthen their traditions by sharing them with the world through ceremonies, dances and dance competitions.
The event kicks off with the Grand Entries, a bright and exciting procession of dignitaries and dancers led by the Eagle Staff and the Native American Color Guard, marching to an engaging and energetic drum beat. Soon the competitive sessions begin, and dancers will enthrall the audience and judges with bright hues and skillful footwork and rhythm. Visitors will want to visit the Arts and Crafts Mart and peruse a large selection of jewelry, artwork, beadwork, paintings, and handcrafted items. Traditional foods including fry bread, corn soup and Indian tacos will tempt the taste buds and help to round out this one-of-a-kind experience of true Native American heritage. For those interested in being a vendor at this event, vendor fees will be accepted until the Saturday of the event, until all spaces are filled.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the IICOT Pow Wow, and Lynnetta Seward is proud to note that she has been a part of this event all of her life. “I was born into IICOT—my uncle Terry Adams and my grandfather Harry Adams started this organization with a few other gentlemen,” says Lynnetta. “Our organization is our legacy to our children. One day, it will be my son, my nieces and nephews, my grandchildren and so on that carry this family tradition of IICOT through to the next century, and our culture will continue to live.”
Education is also very important to IICOT, as evidenced by their Terry Adams Memorial Education Award, which is awarded to Native American students who have completed 60 college hours. Lynnetta’s love for this event is obvious in her description: “At the Grand Entry, you feel the drumbeat in your heart, a beautiful song is being sung. The vivid colors on sparkling beadwork take your breath away. As I stand on the speaker stand stage with my sister by my side, my heart swells. I see proud parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles. I see their smiles. Dancers are showcasing their style; the fact that they love to dance emits from them like a sparkler in every step. I take in every moment, every sight, every smell, every sleepless night—it’s all worth it. I just thank our Creator that we have the opportunity to hold our Pow Wow of Champions.”
The Pow Wow of Champions is a family event, alcohol and drug free. The Pow Wow opens at 5 p.m. Friday, August 17, and dancing starts at 6 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, doors open at 11 a.m., and dancing begins at noon. A Souvenir Program will be available for purchase, and parking is free. To advertise in the IICOT Souvenir Program or for more information on the Pow Wow of Champions, please call (918) 378-4494.