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South Boston News / May 18, 2016
‘We share our culture. We are not entertainers. If you are entertained, we apologize.” So said Chief John “Blackfeather” Jeffries ahead of the Grand Entrance (the opening ceremonies) at this year’s Occaneechi Pow Wow in Mecklenburg County.

The event took place May 13-15 at the South Central Fairgrounds in Chase City.

This is the second year Chase City has hosted this inter-tribal event, which drew several hundred visitors over the three days, and Native Americans from several tribes, including Ojibwe, Cherokee, and Saponi.

The celebration began Friday night with Native American storytelling around a large bonfire. It continued Saturday and Sunday with exhibitions of intertribal dancing, and vendors showcasing Native American arts and crafts and native foods.

Saturday’s Grand Entrance started with a “smudging” — an ancient practice used for healing and energy clearing — and included a special tribute to veterans of the area, both Native American and otherwise. Many of the Native Americans attending the Pow Wow are proud veterans of the armed forces, despite the discrimination they may have encountered while growing up.

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