The big peace treaty pageant is next year, but in Medicine Lodge, 150 years after its signing, there will still be a great powwow.
It was in October 1867 that history was made near Medicine Lodge when the Peace Commission of the United States and the five tribes of the Plains Indians. They signed the Medicine Lodge Treaty, which intended to establish peace between the Native Americans and the Europeans settling in the area. The people of Medicine Lodge and Barber County have been commemorating the event with a reenactment pageant since 1927.
Pageants are every three years, and while this isn’t a pageant year, there is still plenty to see at this year’s Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Powwow, said David Colborn, the event’s chairman.
That includes the annual powwow competition - which last year drew more than 70 people with Native American descent to Medicine Lodge. This year, they hope to have nearly 100 contestants.
Colborn said they started the powwow five years ago to help grow the event in off years when there is no pageant.
“We wanted to keep the momentum going that last weekend of September and grow the off-year events, as well,” he said, adding he has a good committee to help plan.
The idea is to honor the Native American people, along with the area that has been significant to them.
Events began Friday night, but continue through Sunday. Downtown will have food and craft vendors. There also will be gourd dancing, a ranch rodeo, kids activities and a street dance. Sunday includes tours of the Carry Nation home. Meanwhile, each night features the powwow grand entry. Powwow contestants must participate in two of the three grand entries.
The next Peace Treaty pageant will be in September 2018.
To see a schedule of events or for more information on the Peace Treaty, visit http://peacetreaty.org.