Highlights from the 2023 Blue Water Traditional Pow-Wow

The sound of drums thundered along Lake Huron’s waterfront as dancers at this year’s Blue Water Traditional Pow-Wow moved in rhythm, sharing a part of history and each step telling a story in an age-old form.

Organized by committee members in partnership with Port Huron Museums, traditional dance was just one of many memorable experiences to be had at this year’s pow-wow which was held on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Fort Gratiot Light Station in Port Huron.

Host drummer, Moon Lake and co-host, play for the Men's Traditional Dance during this year's Blue Water Traditional Pow-Wow.

Traditional Native American fry bread is made fresh to order for attendees at the Blue Water Traditional Pow-Wow. For those who may be unfamiliar, pow-wows are a gathering and a practice of the Native American peoples in which they meet together to sing, dance, and celebrate life incorporating sacred and spiritual practices revered by Native American peoples. The celebration also welcomes the general public to participate in the experience, forming community bonds while spreading awareness about Native American culture.

Native American fry bread, a fan favorite at most pow-wows, was served fresh from vendors that are often eaten hot and plain, or made into delicious tacos. Other vendors at the Blue Water Traditional Pow-Wow had artwork and other handmade items available for purchase such as jewelry, candles, books, and even traditional medicines including sage, cedar, and sweetgrass.

During the pow-wow, the Master of Ceremonies kept engaged guests by sharing a variety of stories from Native American history containing valuable moral lessons, to other more lighthearted stories and jokes.

Another staple of the celebration included the Grand Entry where guests stood to honor the Native American Flag Song anthem, prayer, and closing song. Some of the dancing portions of the pow-wow hold sacred significance including, the Men and Women’s Traditional dance, in which dancers tell stories through movement while dressed in full regalia, showcasing the intricate beadwork, colors, and flowing fabrics of their design.
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Read more articles by Harold Powell.

Harold Powell is the Community Correspondent for The Keel and owner of Phantom Pen Media offering multimedia services to individuals and organizations across the Blue Water Area. He is a current board member for the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce and the most recent Chamber Choice recipient at the Eddy Awards. Harold is an avid volunteer for the YMCA of the Blue Water Area as well as Bridge Builders Counseling & Mentoring and in his spare time, enjoys spending time with his son, writing and listening to music, playing video games, and not folding laundry.