Saginaw Traditional Pow Wow

Posted By Charlie Ballard June 24th, 2015 Last Updated on: June 24th, 2015

This past weekend the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan., hosted their annual Saganing Traditional Powwow in Standish, Michigan.  What makes this powwow unique is that all of the Grand Entry dancers were given strawberries as they entered the powwow arena.  The strawberry is considered a sacred Anishnabe food because it represent the hearts of the people.



Saganing Traditional Powwow Grand Entry

The Ogitchidaw Veteran Warrior Society was on hand to distribute the flag colors.


I found this lady getting ready in the parking lot, this is Beatrice Jackson (Tlingit), she does a lot for the Native communities in Michigan such as helping out with the sweat lodges ceremonies, long houses, fasting camps, water ceremonies and is a member of the Snowbird Singers, an all lady traditional singing group.


I found some delicious frybread & hominy soup at his powwow, also on the menu was wild rice soup!


Speaking of wild rice, Lee Sprague (Little River Odawa) was on hand to share his traditional knowledge of Anishnabe ricing techniques.

Lee Sprague Ricing Demo

One of my favorite interviews was with Adele Altiman (Walpole Anishnabe) from Walpole Island, Ontario.  Adele is known as the Sweetgrass lady from the Great Lakes region, here she shares her knowledge on how to keep her sweetgrass looking green and smelling wonderful.

Adele Altiman Sweetgrass Lady

This years arena director for the Saganing Traditional Powwow 2015 was RJ Smith (Lac Court Oreilles Anishnabe), a well known National Northern Traditional dancer from Wisconsin! Most people in Indian Country know RJ from a commercial he did for Gatorade a while back.


RJ is also a hero, as I was conducting this interview, this little girl fell to the ground and RJ immediately went over to help her back up, she was fine, just a little scrape.


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