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Rocky Boy Powwow gets underway

Rocky Boy Powwow
James Ceymour
Box Elder map
Posted at 3:44 PM, Aug 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-07 10:58:25-04

BOX ELDER — An event of Indian Heritage and tradition, the Rocky Boy Powwow is underway in Box Elder after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.

The gathering is described as 'a fascinating marriage of the modern and traditional.' Campers, minivans, and nylon tents join traditional teepees in forming the camps that encircle the Rocky Boy Powwow grounds, where people get to enjoy performances from powwow dancers, and singers.

The event also features food vendors, as well as everything else that you can expect at one of the West's biggest powwows.

Safety officer James Ceymour talked about the return of the powwow.

James Ceymour
James Ceymour

"I myself, I like the outdoors," he said. "All the gifts, trade shows that the food is the thing that's most important to me. The dancing and everything. It's all awesome. Since COVID we've been giving out gloves, mask at the front, before you come in, and it's optional. I really am glad it's back."

Rocky Boy is home to members of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe. The name Rocky Boy was derived from the name of a leader of a band of Chippewa Indians. It meant “Stone Child” but it was not translated correctly from Chippewa into English and “Rocky Boy” evolved. The reservations have various cultural events.

"This is our culture," Ceymour explained. "When they come out here, they're kind of looking at what we did in the past and we still carry that tradition forward."

Pow Wows are social gatherings featuring generations- old drumming and dancing, and traditional dress and food. Visitors are welcome to Pow Wows. Participants should bring lawn chairs or blankets, since seating is limited at most Pow Wows. Guests may dance during the “Round Dance” (everyone dances in a circle) or when invited by the emcee. It should always be kept in mind that the dance area is sacred. Visitors may also participate by invitation in a 'Giveaway', a ceremony in which a family gives gifts to others to honor a deserving family member.

The Rocky Boy Powwow will continue Sunday, August 7th. Address: Agency Road and Clearview Road.