By: Leah Rippy/Sophomore Writer
Dancing, singing, and crafts from across the nation drew people into the All Nations Benefit Pow Wow in Susquehanna, PA this past weekend. Sri Akhenaton, the founder and director of the Belize Fund, started the event five years ago. The goal was to bring resources such as food and clothing to Native American Families across the country and spread awareness of the native culture to the general public.
This year, the Pow Wow hosted vendors from New York to Colorado. Vendors sold everything from bead-work and metalwork, to bone jewelry, traditional bows and arrows, and even hand-carved flutes. Vendors such as Kathy Coulter started attending Pow Wows so their crafts could be appreciated, and continued because of the family-oriented and upbeat atmosphere. Others, such as Jeanette McCauley, have been going to Pow Wows for their entire lives and keep going to spread awareness of their traditions and culture. When asked why Pow Wows are still relevant today, Ms. McCauley said, “People need to understand that Native Americans are not obsolete; we are still here. We still exist.”
While there are no federally recognized tribes in Pennsylvania today, there are tribes native to the region. The Iroquois and Deleware tribes inhabited Northern Pennsylvania, and descendants of both could be found at the All Nations Benefit Pow Wow.
People from all around the nation could be seen singing and dancing to the tune of songs from cultures across the continent, from Colorado to the plains, to right here in Pennsylvania.