Dancers of the Plains Cultural Exhibition to Feature Ponca

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

Friday is all about cultural education! Presented by
members of the Southern and Northern Ponca Tribes,
learn about the cultures of these two tribes through
hands-on activities, demonstrations and exhibits.
On Friday parking is available on the Archway grounds.

Friday, June 15
9:00am Flagraising and Tipi Raising
9:00-Noon Educational Hands-On Activities
1:00-3:00pm Dance Demonstrations
9:00am-4:00pm Food and Art Vendors Open

Saturday parking is available at the Viaero Event
Center, just off I-80 exit 272. Ride the free shuttle
to the Archway grounds.
(Priority parking for seniors and disabled)

Saturday, June 16

9:00am Flagraising and Tipi Raising
9:00-Noon Living History, Cultural Exhibits and
Craft Demonstrations
1:00-3:00pm Dance Exhibition
9:00am-4:00pm Food and Art Vendors Open


Thousands of people are expected in Kearney starting Friday for a two-day celebration of Nebraska's Native American history.

But the impact of the Dancers of the Plains Cultural Exhibition at the Great Platte River Road Archway will last beyond the weekend.

"Over the past four years the exhibition has wanted to welcome home the tribes that were expelled from Nebraska and the Ponca is our final tribe that was expelled to Oklahoma," says Dawna Ourada, Education and Programming Coordinator at the Archway.

Dean Ringlein has volunteered at the pow wow all four years. He's been to others in the region, but says the central Nebraska celebration is unique.

"This would be the best set up for visitors to see all the dancers, we have a nice big arena - it's open, there's not a bad seat in the place," says Ringlein.

Organizers estimate that 12,000 people came to Dancers of the Plains last year, and they're expecting just as many this year.

"It's a chance to examine the past and figure out how we can be at peace with the future," says Ourada.

Ourada says the pow wow is about the tribe, not the Archway, and that's why they don't charge admission. But she says they do benefit from the relationships formed.

"Those connections with the native world is what created the earth lodge, it created the internship program that has brought Pawnee young people here to teach us and to teach all of our visitors about the past ways of living," she says.

Ourada says visitors this weekend can look forward to living history demonstrations, hands-on activities, and dance demonstrations.

Dancers of the Plains activities start at 9:00 AM on Friday and Saturday.

For a complete schedule click on the link below.

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