For nearly 30 years, people from near and far flock to Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus for a special event. The College’s Parade Ground has been the permanent site for a celebration of culture and inclusiveness.
The 27th annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow on Saturday, Sept. 15, is filled with tradition, bringing together people from across Nebraska and the surrounding region to celebrate Native American cultures. The parade grounds are the same location Ponca Chief Standing Bear awaited trial in the 1800s that eventually granted habeas corpus to Native peoples, offering a historical backdrop to the event.
Together with local tribe leaders, Metropolitan Community College leaders began the Powwow in 1992 to culminate a year-long celebration recognizing our nation’s Quincentennial.
Over the 27-year history, Native American leaders continue to lead this celebration. College faculty, staff and students appreciate this opportunity to honor Native cultures and learn from local leaders.
In 1992, roughly 100 people attended. Since then, participation has grown to more than 3,000 people.
The Powwow will feature members of different tribes from around the region performing throughout the day. A comprehensive program will be available that gives vivid detail to the importance of each dance style and powwow protocols.
Lisa Odjig of the Odawa/Ojibwe Nations and from Ontario, Canada, two-time hoop dancing world champion, will do a special performance at 4 p.m. Odjig has performed for Queen Elizabeth II, on the “Today Show” and was a semi-finalist on “Canada’s Got Talent.”
Each year, a young woman is honored as the Powwow Princess. This year’s Princess is Naomi Lieb of the Omaha/Ponca tribe.
The Powwow’s opening ceremony begins at 1 p.m. and the closing ceremony is at 7 p.m. Aside from dancing, there will be food and craft vendors, the Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery Program, a study circle for visitors to learn more about Native American cultures and more for visitors to see and do. Visitors can also learn more about MCC and its variety of programs, such as Emergency Medical Technology, whose students will be on hand to provide any medical assistance at the Powwow and discuss the College’s program.
To learn more about the Powwow, visit mccneb.edu/powwow or call 531-MCC-2253.
The 27th annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow is made possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts. The event is funded in part by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners’ Visitors Improvement Fund.