In the best attended event of the past several years, the 15th Annual Clarksville Area Intertribal Powwow held at the Port Royal State Historical Site attracted hundreds of visitors from the surrounding area. The Native Cultural Circle sponsors this event each year and donates sets of books about the life and customs of Native Americans to Montgomery County elementary schools with the proceeds.
Visitors see beautiful regalia worn by many Native Americans, most of whom spend from Friday night through Sunday night or Monday morning in tents on the Powwow Grounds.
For the fourth year, tribal members participated in the Annual Commemorative Trail of Tears Walk. The original walk occurred when the United States Government at the insistence of President Andrew Jackson forced a removal of many Indians so that white people could take their land.
In the early 1830s, about 125,000 Native Americans lived in parts of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. Their ancestors had been on these lands for generations. The Trail of Tears was the path these people were forced to walk until they reached “Indian territory” across the Mississippi River.
The participants in the Commemorative Walk are welcomed into the circle at the close of the walk. At noon the welcome and Grand Entry are held with posting of the colors and the Flag Song following.
Special events were held for the children attending as they were invited into the circle to find wrapped candy throughout the area. The education of participants in this year’s Powwow was a focus of the event.
Throughout the day visitors watch dancing, hear storytelling and see special exhibitions like that of the Hawaiian Civil Club. Vendor booths surround the circle; participants can see demonstrations of native crafts and can items like intricately carved walking sticks, jewelry, books about Native American life and customs, blankets, clothing, etc.
Veterans, police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel are honored in the circle each year.
Special thanks is given to the following for making this year’s successful event a reality: Bill Larson, Charlie Merritt, Clyde Maize, Dan and Donna Johnson, the David Britton family, Graham and Mary Harvey, the Koonz family, Neva and David Stephens, Niki Laughing Otter, Sarah, Thomas H. Adisi, Wendell Clark and Maria Lowery, Valerie and David Bridges, the Coca Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Company of Clarksville, Crossroads Christian Fellowship, Friends of Port Royal, Port Royal Café, Sam’s Club, and the Hawaiian Civic Club.
The Powwow is held each year on the second weekend of October. Be sure to add it to your calendar so that you’ll be sure to attend next year.