The 31st annual Bear River Pow Wow will be held this weekend, July 12 through 14, at the Bear River Pow Wow grounds in Lac du Flambeau.
The Bear River Pow Wow is a mid-summer celebration of Native American culture and tradition that attracts participants from across the country. Friends and families gather to share in traditional and contemporary Native American singing, dancing and story-telling. Theresa Mitchell, director of the George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum and Cultural Center and Bear River Pow Wow committee coordinator, noted the pow wow is a significant event for the people of Lac du Flambeau.
“The pow wow is more of a homecoming for tribal members who live away from the reservation. It’s a chance for people to reconnect, and many families plan summer trips home to coincide with this weekend,” she said.
The Bear River grounds have long been a gathering place for the tribe. The first Bear River Pow Wow was organized in 1982 by tribal member Donnie Carufel, and has grown steadily since its inception. Before the annual event, the sacred grounds were used by locals when performing for tourists in the 1930s and 1940s. Prior to that, the location was used by local Ojibwe people, who constructed seasonal camps while harvesting wild rice on the Bear River.
“Both the pow wow and the grounds have deep-rooted meaning and value to the community,” Mitchell said.
For more information on the annual Bear River Pow-Wow or the George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum and Cultural Center in Lac du Flambeau, contact Theresa Mitchell at (715) 588-3333, or visit ldfmuseum.com.