Getting down at the Winnebago Pow-wow

Ho-Chunk tribe
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If you’re looking for a great summer party, head on out to a Ho-Chunk pow-wow held in Winnebago, Nebraska, the last five days in July.

The Ho-Chunk people are not native to Winnebago. Like many Native American tribes, the Ho-Chunk were forced from their land at the beginning of the 19th century. Native to Wisconsin, the Ho-Chunk people were farmers and hunters of bison. Coveting their land, the United States government forced the Ho-Chunk not only to move to Iowa, but then sent them out of Iowa and onwards to Minnesota and South Dakota before they were finally allowed to settle down in Nebraska. Some Ho-Chunk eventually moved back to Wisconsin.

The Ho-Chunk nation is now headquartered in Black River Falls, Wisconsin.  A smaller portion of the group resides on the Winnebago reservation.

Every year the Winnebago tribe holds a pow-wow honoring Ho-Chunk tribal members who served in the United States Army, paying homage to their fallen comrades who gave up their lives for a government that mistreated them. The pow-wow celebrates the lives of all Winnebago veterans of war, including Chief Little Priest, who forgave the American government for crimes committed against his people. He encouraged tribal members to develop friendship between themselves, settlers, and soldiers.

The oldest pow-wow in North America, occurring since 1866, the annual event celebrates and preserves Native American heritage.

 Ho-Chunk tribe

The event is located at Veteran’s Memorial Park, 1 ¼ miles east of Winnebago, Nebraska, on US Highway 75.

The pow wow will feature traditional songs, dances and food. Visitors come from throughout the US and around the world. Camping and concessions are available on the grounds.

For more information, visit Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

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