A Tulsa tradition

A Tulsa tradition
Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center hosted the Intertribal Indian Club of Tulsa’s 41st annual Powwow of Champions Aug. 10-12. (K. Barnett/Reporter)

“It’s not only a chance to share our culture, it also gives people the opportunity to compete against one another.”— Powwow dancer Dave Madden

Tulsa’s Powwow of Champions enters its fourth decade

Kevin Barnett/Reporter

TULSA, Oklahoma— The Intertribal Indian Club of Tulsa held its 41st annual Powwow of Champions Aug. 10-12 at the Mabee Center in Tulsa.

IICOT President Lynnetta Seward credits the powwow’s popularity and staying power to the enduring relationships between the organization and the many entities involved in the annual affair.

According the organization’s website, the yearly event began in the late 70s as an effort by elders to keep Native youth engaged in cultural activities.

The organization’s first powwow was held in 1977 at the armory in Sperry and has since evolved into an event that, according to Seward, welcomes over 10,000 people throughout the weekend.

Each night began with gourd dancing followed by a procession of all the evening’s dancers, which kicked off the competition portion of the evening.

“It’s not only a chance to share our culture, it also gives people the opportunity to compete against one another,” long time participant Dave Madden said.

The IICOT Powwow of Champions is held on the second weekend in August inside the Mabee Center.

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