Ampers invites all Minnesotans to attend and participate in a statewide Pow Wow
The Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (Ampers), the Leech Lake Band
of Ojibwe, Red Lake Nation, White Earth Nation, the Sanford Center, and the City of Bemidji are
inviting all Minnesotans to attend and even participate in “Minnesota’s 2nd Annual Bemijigamaag
Sanford Center Pow Wow” on Saturday, April 23rd at the Sanford Center in Bemidji. One goal of the
event is to create an atmosphere in which all Minnesotans, Native American as well as non-Indigenous
people, feel comfortable coming together in celebration. The event is free and open to the public.
Doors open and participant registration begins at 10am and the event itself begins at 1pm.
“All Pow Wows are free and open to the public,” Ampers Chief Executive Officer Joel Glaser said.
“But, many non-Native Americans don’t know that they are allowed to attend. Or, if they do know
it’s open to the public, they may not feel comfortable attending because they are concerned they
will say or do something offensive because they don’t know enough about Native American traditions.
People don’t have to worry about that at this Pow Wow.”
Last year more than 3,500 people attended the inaugural event including Minnesota Governor
Mark Dayton, the Tribal Chairs of the three largest Ojibwe Tribes in Northern Minnesota, and other
state and local dignitaries. Similar to last year, there will be grand entries at 1pm and 7pm with
traditional Pow Wow dancing and drumming between the two grand entries and after the 7pm grand entry.
This year’s event will also include Hand Drum, Jingle, Grass, Men’s Traditional and Women’s Fancy
Shawl contests which should attract dancers and drummers from across the country.
“I remember standing in the entrance with the other tribal leaders, our honor guard, and our royalty.
I remember looking into the stands and the crowds and seeing individuals from our tribes and seeing
non-Natives coming in and being welcome there,” Carri Jones, Tribal Chair of the Leech Lake Band of
Ojibwe said referring to last year’s Pow Wow. Jones goes on to say, “To me it felt like a really
powerful event to have so many different individuals coming together. A lot of people talked about
how it made history that day.”
Bemidji’s Mayor, Rita Albrecht is excited to host the Bemijigamaag Pow Wow again this year saying that
it was spectacular to see all of the tribal leaders dancing side-by-side last year. Albrecht said,
“I know them each individually and I have met with each individually as an elected official but I have
never had them all together in one place and I thought that was pretty special.”
Funds from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund combined with donations from the host tribes,
the Sanford Center and area businesses help to make this event possible. To accommodate the expected
significant growth this year, Ampers is still soliciting donations and sponsorships. Individuals,
organizations, or companies interested in making a donation or becoming a sponsor should contact
Joel Glaser at 651-686-5367 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ampers, Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities, is a 501(c)(3) that represents 18 independent
community radio stations in Minnesota. Each station is locally managed and programmed by and for
the local communities they serve. The stations are all licensed to a college, school, university,
Native American tribe, or directly to the communities they serve.
The stations include: WTIP (Grand Marais/Grand Portage/Gunflint Trail), KAXE and KBXE (Grand Rapids,
Bemidji, Brainerd), KSRQ (Thief River Falls), KUMD (Duluth/Superior), KVSC (St. Cloud), KUMM (Morris),
KFAI (Minneapolis/St. Paul), KMOJ (Minneapolis/St. Paul), KUOM “Radio K” (Minneapolis/St. Paul),
KBEM “Jazz88” (Minneapolis/St. Paul), KMSU (Mankato/Austin), KQAL (Winona), KOJB (Cass Lake/Bena),
KBFT (Nett Lake), and KKWE (White Earth/Callaway), WGZS (Cloquet), and now KRPR (Rochester).
Ampers has no affiliation with Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and receives no financial support from MPR.
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