NMU students prepare for traditional powwow

Northern Michigan University’s Native American Student Association is celebrating native life in the U.P. through the pageantry of a traditional powwow.

Volunteers were setting up NMU’s Vandament Arena today for the 21st annual Learning To Walk Together Powwow. It takes place tomorrow. Vendors, artisans and guests from throughout the Great Lakes region will be there.

“Our head veteran is coming from Duluth, Minnesota, our head female’s coming from Detroit and our head male’s coming from Petoskey, so just them alone, they’re important people,” NMU Native American Student Association president Alicia Paquin said. “The dancers, of course, and our host drum is coming from Sault Ste. Marie.”

There will be grand entries at noon and 6 p.m. with songs to honor veterans, male and female traditional dances and other dance exhibitions. A feast is also slated to begin at 4 p.m.

“Over at Jacobetti, we have the feast prep (going on), so we’re going to be cooking half of the turkeys, which should be about 200 pounds, and then we’re going to be doing that also tomorrow,” Paquin said.

Doors open at 11 a.m. Admission is $5 per person for most, but the powwow is free to anyone with a valid NMU student I.D.