August 2nd, 2016 Last Updated on: August 3rd, 2016
For the past 3 years I've been fortunate enough to host Stage 49 at the Gathering of Nations Powwow as a Dragqueen performer. I can't think of any other Powwow in the United States or Canada that would a welcome a Two Spirit performer into their at-large Powwow community.
So for the #GON powwow committee to take a risk on bringing me in, it was a huge gamble that paid off in a big way. For me, it not only validated the changing world we live, but this event also offered space back to its neglected and under represented community members, the Two Spirits. Not to mention the wonderful reception I received from all the visitors attending the #GONpowwow, just thinking back to all the wonderful moments I had at the powwow fills my heart with joy.
Over the years, people keep talking negatively about the Gathering of Nations Powwow
- Too expensive
- Too Crowded
- Run by non-natives
- People hog seats by putting down blankets
- The contests are rigged
- The Indian Tacos cost $12
- And so on …
But yet, every year that powwow keeps getting bigger and bigger, attracting more audience from all over.
A big reason why the Gathering of Nations Powwow is such a big draw is because they do things other powwows don’t, for instance, this past year they brought in a major recording star – Judith Hill , to entertain their audience before the afternoon Grand Entry, another year the powwow emcee’s took a minute to incorporate the Harlem Shake into their festivities!
Who remembers the year when Oklahoma rappers Mike Bone performed on the arena floor!
How about when actress Natalie Portman made a special appearance!
Then did anyone notice the Dragqueen that danced in Grand Entry with her balloons? <— when does that ever happen, uh.. never.
A new era has arrived in Indian Country and its that of tolerance, all of our community members are coming back into the circle.
p.s. and don’t forget to visit the #GONpowwow in their new space next year, the Expo Center aka Tingley Coliseum, which promises to accommodate their ever growing crowds.
The Gathering of Nations Powwow is must on everyone's bucket list.
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