Powwow tells area’s early history story

Published 12:05am Friday, March 22, 2013

Two and a half decades is a long time. Ronald Reagan was president and no one, sans a few scientists had even dreamt up the Internet.

But 25 years ago, a Natchez physician had a vision for something special. Dr. Chuck Borum, recalling his admiration and appreciation for the Native American cultures he first experienced in Oklahoma, thought, “Why not have that same culture highlighted here in Natchez?”

The first Natchez Powwow was born from that thought.

Tomorrow, Borum will mark the 25th event since its inception.

Borum’s early recognition of the importance of celebrating Native American culture in Natchez is important, particularly for a community that proudly wears its history for the world to see and enjoy.

While it’s perhaps not the crowd-producer that Spring Pilgrimage or the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race, the powwow is important.

It’s one of the few that are held on the historic, ceremonial grounds of Native Americans, in our case the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. The powwow kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues through Sunday afternoon.

The event helps tell our community’s early history and keeps Native American culture alive in our minds, even if that’s only for a few hours for most of us.

Weather forecasters suggest the silver anniversary of the Natchez Powwow might be a slightly wet one.

We hope, however, the community comes out and helps celebrate not only the culture of our area’s first citizens, but also the more modern Americans like Borum who saw the need to make an event in their honor.

Maris