The Chiminising community in Isle (District IIa) has sometimes felt overlooked compared to the Mille Lacs Band’s other communities. Other districts have larger populations, greater political influence and big-time powwows each summer.
In 2016, District II Rep. David ‘Niib’ Aubid and his administrator at the time, Chilah Brown, hosted Chiminising’s rst Ziig- wan (Spring) Powwow to bring some culture to the community.
Niib talked about how the traditional spirituality in Chiminising was driven underground in the 20th century. Unlike the other districts, there have been no Big Drum ceremonies in the community for many years.
“With the powwow last year, that spirituality is reemerging in an Indian way,” said Niib.
This year’s Ziigwan Powwow was held on April 29 and coordinated by Niib’s current administrator, Adrienne Benjamin, who grew up in Chiminising. She was assisted by other members of Niib’s legislative staff, masters of ceremonies Byron Ninham and Deilyah Asin Dexter, Arena Director Sherraine White and Stickman Tony Buckanaga.
A princess and brave were chosen, and several contests were held. Buster Dunkley won the men’s sidestep competition, followed by Ian Bearheart and Harvey GoodSky Jr. Jennie Joseph won the women’s side- step, with Karla Smallwood as runner-up and Ramona Bird taking third. Ah-nung Matri- ous won the women’s ribbon skirt/applique competition and Opie Day-Beadeau took the men’s ribbon/applique shirt top prize.
Harvey and Morningstar GoodSky won a highly competitive Potato Dance.
The 2017 Ziigwan Powwow Princess is Aniyah White, and the Brave (for the second year in a row) is Waylon Mitchell. Adrienne and the D2 Legislative Staff wanted to publicly thank Joyce Shingobe for the beautiful crown and sashes, and Christopher Knoxsah for the roach that they crafted for the event. A special thanks goes out to Tony Pike for being the unsung hero of the event and saving the day.
After the powwow ended at 4 p.m., guests feasted on Indian tacos until 6 p.m., followed by a Round Dance with an impressive list of singers, including Jeremiah Churchill, Aaron ‘Vito’ Buckanaga, Joe Jourdain, Opie Day, Michael ‘Mi- gizi’ Sullivan and Hallo Day.