HELENA — After having to cancel last year's event, the 22nd annual Last Chance Community Pow Wow returned on Friday with a demonstration day for local students
“For us not having a powwow throughout 2020 and coming into 2021, everyone was like ready to get their vaccination. Go to Powell, enjoy themselves, visit see their friends. We've lost friends within the year and a half and elders and then friends are younger too,” said Matthew Sheka Senior, who traveled from Arizona to participate.
For Sheka, the Last Chance Community Pow Wow was an exciting community event to be able to sing and play drums and meet new people.
“Powwow is important to me because it gives me that the good feeling when I see I know when I dance. It feels good to dance for people in there and then also to enjoy the community to find new friends as one of the main things,” said Sheka.
The demonstration for students was a sight to see, as drums, singing and dancers took to the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds exhibition hall.
Ayana Marcum, a Chippewa Cree Tribal member says that dancing and teaching students to dance is her way of expressing herself.
“it's kind of like something that allows me to get away from society and all my other issues. It allows me to be able to be just me. Oftentimes, I stare at the floor because I'm nervous with a whole bunch of people but I try my best to get out there and start teaching others,” said Marcum.
Marcum says being able to dance in a powwow is something she missed during the pandemic.
“It's kind of like getting back into those old shoes that you cannot fit anymore. It’s personally a passion of mine, so I like to be able to get back and start doing things that mean a lot to me,so being able to become part of the community again and start teaching kids for like demonstration and such. It makes me feel good,” said Marcum.
Last Chance Community Pow Wow will continue throughout the weekend with grand entries at noon and 6:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday.