Dancer at Kyi-Yo speaks up on behalf of powwow folks

As the reader comments continue to arrive on the Kyi-Yo Powwow, which ended Saturday, I’ll keep posting some of the remarks. The rest are available for your reading. Meanwhile, I’ve been reading every blog that has arrived and I will be writing a column on the issue. I’ll be working on it tonight and likely posting it Friday. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts. I expect I will be talking about leadership responsibilites to ourselves and our communities. On the other hand, my columns sometimes take on a life of their own.

Here is the lastest comment from Jay:

Some how this blog turned into a venue in which the theme is to blame the dancers/singers. I am addressing the comments alluding that a powwow dancer or singer is somehow not being “traditional” and “greedy”. I am a dancer and I attended Kyi-yo this year and I was shocked when the announcement was made regarding the payouts. I agree the committee would’ve done well to make it a traditional powwow, of course hindsight is 20/20 but I have to disagree with the comments regarding traveling powwow folks.

At one time I was able to travel from powwow to powwow and I would not trade that time for anything because I have great memories but believe me that made me no less traditional and definitely not greedy! I love to dance. I enjoy going to powwows for so many reasons and if I’m able to make a little money on the side doing what I love then I think I’m coming out ahead. Also, the comment regarding powwows as an income…actually it is for some folks and why not? If an individual is able to make that work for them, if it’s something they love to do and get paid for it why judge them? If an attorney loves his job and gets paid for it would he be judged? I myself was only able to make that work for a limited time but for the ones that can and do, why are we so critical? That’s their choice! As for being traditional…by who’s definition? My “traditional” would be very different from everyone else’s, I’m sure. I think many folks’ disappointment was the feeling that there was some form of deception and maybe not so much about money.

Jodi Rave


  1. Thanks Jay for responding. I think that the dancers and singers are getting a bad rap too as my family does go to powwows to dance and enjoy the gathering as it is a part of our lives and gives us a sense of belonging. From time to time, we happen to place at powwows and when we do it is nice to have a little extra to compensate for the travel (if you are lucky enough to win that is). We never count on winning but when we do, it is a nice surprise. I do not feel that we are greedy or attend powwows for the money, and it is unfair for those to even say remarks like that. Please do not put us all in the same category.
    Now, maybe some of you don’t want to acknowledge this, but we as dancers/singers also paid to register as it was not free for us to attend. So, let’s look at the bigger picture. We came together because we like to powwow, but the dishonesty is what a lot of us were hurt about. I would have been totally ok if there wasn’t money but lets all look at the entire picture and stop pointing fingers.

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