Anwebiwin Niimi’idiwin (Resting Pow-Wow) View Full Blog


Hundreds gathered together at Cass Lake-Bena High School to engage in cultural celebration during The Leech Lake Tribal College’s Anwebiwin Niimi’idiwin (Resting Pow-Wow) named in honor of Gaawitaasiban (Benny Tonce). Gaawitaasiban named the Pow-wow in his joking way because putting on a Pow-Wow is a lot of work, but he saw it as a time to sit at the drum, visit with friends, family, and do what he loved most.

This year The LLTC Pow-Wow Committee chose to address one of the biggest problems in Indian Country today, healthy eating styles.  “Diabetes is rampant around Indian Country, as Natives we are four times more likely to get diabetes.” said Pow-Wow Chairperson Nicole Buckanaga. “We wanted to assist in revitalizing our traditional eating styles.” The annual give-away had an organic and sustainable flavor to it. Some of the gifts given included: Squash, Potatoes, Apples, Oranges, Manoomin, healthy snack bags for kids, re-usable bags, water bottles, and cutlery. Tribal College staff and faculty brought the items to all the attendance. During the blessing of the give-away items, spiritual advisor Murphy Thomas spoke about the importance of eating healthy and sustaining our traditional ways of eating.


Keeping with that theme The LLTC Mino-ayaawigaming (Wellness Center) collaborated with the give-away, “We wanted the food to be local, organic food that got people thinking about wellness and healthy eating” said Wellness Center Director Dawn Plumer. The Pow-Wow had one single food stand, ran by the LLTC Athletic Teams and the Student Senate, each got 30% of the profits for their respective organizations. “A lot of the people at the Pow-Wow couldn’t believe we didn’t have fry bread and pop for sale at first, but after seeing how good the healthy soups and smoothies were we had a lot of happy customers.” said LLTC Basketball Coach Brady Fairbanks. The stand sold fruit smoothies, soups, water and tea to contribute to the health initiative. “The committee wanted to spearhead the effort to change how we eat at Pow-Wow’s and in our everyday life.” said Buckanaga. “I think those in attendance would agree it was successful.”