25th Annual Monacan Indian Nation Powwow
AMHERST Co., Va. (WSET) -- Several Indian tribes gathered in Amherst County for the 25th Annual Monacan Indian Nation Powwow.
The Monacan Indian Nation celebrated a milestone this year by marking their 25th annual Powwow.
After months of planning, Chief Dean Branham credits his organizers for the work involved. "I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart," said Chief Branham of the Monacan Indian Nation. "This is something I can't do by myself, or no one. It takes a team."
Spectators and family members were soaking it all in. "It's great to see dancers, it's great to see family that I haven't seen in 20-plus years," said Melina Geise, a first time attendee of the Powwow. "It's kind of sentimental because my mom was born and raised here."
Tribes from as far as New Mexico traveled to the event this year.
As they look to the future, they focus on passing down the culture and traditions to the next generations.
"We've been here for thousands and thousands of years, and we just want to keep the stuff going on year after year and teach our kids how to do the stuff that we did before," explained Chief Terry Price with the Wolf Creek Cherokee Tribe of Virginia.
"I'm going to keep this tradition alive. I also drum, and I'm going to try to encourage more youth to come out and do stuff with me," said Tristan Parrish, a 16-year-old Monacan Indian Tribe member. "We just going to keep it going."
That's just how his elders would have it; and what 79-year-old Edward Branham, Chief Branham's first cousin, has done. "What I'm hoping for now is a federal recognition, that I live long enough to see it happen," said Branham, one of the oldest Monacan Tribe members.
Federal recognition for the Monacan Indian Nation is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate.
They have tried for years to get the legal standing and hope this is the year it will come to pass.