McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 18, 2013

Huge PowWow set for Saturday at the Expo

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — More than a thousand people from around the country are expected to attend the free Arrowhead Powwow set for Saturday at the Southeast Expo Center, organizers say.

Choctaw Nation Chief Gregory Pyle and Dist. 11 Councilman Bob will lead the grand entry at 6:30 p.m., according event Chairman Dena Cantrell of the Choctaw Nation.

“They will also take part in an Honor Dance which will be held for them after the grand entry,” Cantrell said.

The event is open to the public.

“We welcome everyone to come down and join us,” Cantrell said.

The Choctaw Nation Color Guard will also take part in Saturday’s events.

Cantrell said Native American tribes and dancers from all over the country will be participating Saturday’s event, the first powwow to be held the Southeast Expo Center

She said it’s been several years since the last powwow was held in the area.

“We used to have our powwow at Lake Arrowhead and it was a three-day event,” she said.

 Master of Ceremony Archie Mason is set to return to this year, Cantrell said.

 “He was our MC years ago and it’s an honor to have him back,” she said.

Highlights of the event will be Native American singer Michael Whitecloud, representing the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Choctaw and Chickasaw nations; Head Lady Dancer Everlyn Kasworn of the Southern Cheyenne Nation; Head Gourd Dancer Ira Kualay Jr. of the Kiowa Nation, and Arena Director Bill Takehorse of the Crow Nation.

Saturday’s events start at 3 p.m. with gourd dancing until 5 p.m.

Native American dance competitions will be held at the powwow for juniors 7 to 15 and the adult category for dancers 16 and older. The competitions will include Fancy, Traditional, Fancy, Shawl and Buckskin,

Native American crafts and concessions will be available at the event

Cantrell said Choctaw Dist. 11 senior citizens will be selling traditional Native American food such as fry bread and Indian tacos and the Expo will have concessions available as well.

There is no cost for admission.

The Southeast Expo Center is on U.S. Highway 270, west of McAlester.

For more information, call 918-423-1016 or 918-423-0368.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.