The 13th Annual White Eagle Multicultural Pow Wow is the only pow wow of it's type in the country and it's happening near Adel, Iowa!
We spoke with event founder, Ralph Moisa II, about this one-in-a-million gathering.
Ralph and Carol Moisa, along with dozens of volunteers and sponsors, have created a positive reason to unite central Iowa communities.
Their cause is valiant - "to break down the walls of misunderstanding and bring together individuals of different races" - as inspired by their late son Ralph "White Eagle" Moisa III.
As a young man, Ralph experienced bigotry because of the color of his skin.
He remembers a time when he was not allowed to sit at the counter in restaurants.
This hatred could have overtaken him, but Ralph focused his energies towards raising his family.
He saw his son face similar racism as someone shot out the windows of their car and with each injustice, saw his son stand tall in his Indian pride.
In 1995 White Eagle passed away while trying to save a winged friend caught in a power line. The short story "Spirit Journey" celebrates Ralph's life as told by his father.
In his son's belongings Ralph found journals outlining a life he was unaware existed. They learned that their son had been visiting local schools to teach the children of the 7th Generation about his culture.
He wrote that by respecting his individual heritage and learning about the traditions of others, he would gain a greater appreciation for all and begin to mend the Sacred Hoop.
As Native Americans, the 7th Generation represents a significant turning point. Ralph explains that today's children live in a brave new world, answering questions their fathers could not imagine; making choices they could not understand.
The struggles they face in turn create new struggles for their parents who feel ill equipped to prepare their children for what lies ahead. This applies to families everywhere, of every creed and nationality.
The 7th Generation's significance and worldwide impact are the reasons to mend the Sacred Hoop.
The ever-expanding network of family, community, country and the world is joined together to form the Sacred Hoop. But the ties that bind us fray with each intolerant act, tarnishing the spirit of connectivity each race shares.
White Eagle dreamt of a gathering not only to repair these bonds, but also to strengthen them.
In 2000, Ralph and Carol organized the first Multicultural Pow Wow at Jester Park. As the event grew to more than 12,000 spectators, the 501c organization had to relocate to larger camping facilities at Hawkeye Antique Acres near Waukee.
This three-day event is fun and family oriented uniting costumes, pageantry, music, dance, performance art, and sports with the spirit of community.
Pow wow participants will witness first hand the spiritual power of the Grand Entry and Native American dances performed daily.
Additional cultural displays will take place throughout the weekend by Los Ninos del Tepayac- featuring Mexican Folklore Dancing, Aloha Wind, Mirage Dance, HAPA Filipino Dance, Salsa Des Moines, music by Our Heritage Family Band, Malaika and her Mystic Angels, and the Japan America Society of Iowa featuring Taiko Drum and more!
On Sunday a giveaway will take place at approximately 3:00 p.m. This is an important Native American tradition that honors those who have joined together during the pow wow.
Ralph insists, "We would be honored to have everyone that attends the White Eagle pow wow also attend the giveaway Sunday afternoon."
Committee volunteer Scott Burke of Prairie Wind Arts in Adel has volunteered each year and looks forward to sharing the event with first-time attendants.
Scott recommends camping for the weekend to experience the full magnitude of the event. "You just have to go. It's like nothing you've seen before. You just have to experience it for yourself!"
Ralph "White Eagle" Moisa III continues to teach us that only by example can we instill in our children the tolerance and acceptance they need to make the best choices for all.
The White Eagle Multicultural Pow Wow hopes to bring together families and friends from around the world to celebrate our differences and find laughter in our misconceptions.
Volunteers are still needed. To learn how you can become part of this one in a million event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
White Eagle Multicultural Pow Wow
August 24, 25 and 26th, 2012
Hawkeye Antique Acres off I-80 Exit 117 near Waukee
Parking: $5 per day or $10 weekend
Camping: $5 per tent, per day or $15 per trailer/ electric site per day