The annual Monroe Powwow took place on July 1st and 2nd, showcasing the rich culture and traditions of Native American tribes from the local area around Ohio’s Hannibal Township.
Despite a decrease in attendance this year due to extreme heat, the event still provided an opportunity for representatives of 587 tribes and nations across the country to pass down their legacy. They did so through dance, storytelling, and celebration.
Under the guidance of Powwow Committee Chairperson Jennifer Babb, who has served as chair since 2014, the Monroe (County) Powwow has become an important platform for preserving Native American heritage. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers graciously hosted the event on the grounds of the locks, except for two years disrupted by the pandemic.
Representatives from various tribes including Cherokee, Lakota, Blackfoot, Lenape, Powhatan, Seneca, Iroquois, Catawba, Navajo, Menominee, and Passamaquoddy gathered at the powwow. The highlight of the event was the Grand entrance parade led by a tribal staff at the center of the arena.
Following this were flags representing both America and POWs (Prisoners of War). The opening ceremony featured a prayer delivered by announcer Drew Waepew-Awaehsaeh from Menominee Nation.
A key feature of the powwow was the “C-Town Singers,” a host drum group from Cleveland Ohio. Their captivating songs accompanied dances performed by approximately 40 participants from different Native American nations. MC Drew Waepew-Awaehsaeh actively engaged in preserving his people’s language and culture through events like this.
Drew highlighted that Hannibal offers a traditional gathering experience for powwows with educational displays for the public. There are also competition powwows where dancers, drum groups, and singers are judged on their skills and knowledge.
One such event, scheduled for August 5th and 6th at the Lancaster Fairfield County Fairgrounds in Ohio, attracts thousands of attendees.
The Monroe Powwow Committee, a non-profit group open to all individuals interested in supporting the Native community, welcomes new members who share a passion for preserving Indigenous traditions. Meetings take place monthly at the public library in New Matamoras Ohio.
For more information about the committee and meetings, interested individuals can contact Jennifer Babb at 740-516-8971. As a volunteer-based organization relying on donations and modest fees from vendors and gate admissions at the annual Monroe Powwow, they appreciate any support.
Traditional and competition powwows serve as vital avenues for Native Americans to safeguard their heritage. Attend a powwow to learn more about the rich history of our country’s first people.