Letter: Pow wow committee looking for members

We need your help.
After two wonderful years, the Smoking River Pow Wow committee is taking a new direction in 2010. We are recruiting people with fresh ideas to organize the powwow in future years. This committee began creating the powwow as a vehicle to embody our mission: “Honoring Heritage, Connecting Communities, Celebrating Friendship.” We are now looking beyond the powwow for new ways to bring the Ute people and their heritage back to the White River Valley.
As Ute committee member A.J. Kanip noted, “Not everyone (in the Ute community) powwows.”
The powwow’s success has exceeded our expectations, and we are looking to you, the northwest Colorado community, to guide the event in the future. We need new leadership if the event is to continue.
Overall attendance in 2009 was double that of the first event in 2008; nearly 1,000 people attended on Saturday, Sept. 26, all benefiting the local economy. Attendance is expected to grow.
Ute committee members A.J. Kanip and Kerry Cesspooch suggested the new committee try holding the powwow indoors at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds and making it a one-day event. These changes would significantly reduce the cost and planning associated with the powwow.
In 2009, the Northern Ute Tribal Business Committee donated a buffalo (American Bison) for a traditional feast to be held in conjunction with the second Smoking River Pow Wow. Their generous gesture underscores the importance of the powwow to the Ute community. We would like to see the tradition continue.
At this point our committee is moving forward with plans for other programs. We are ready to work with an organization to take over coordination of the powwow, and we look forward to planning the next powwow when new people come forward.
Valuable resources and contacts are in place for the new committee. No experience is necessary, but a good attitude is essential.
If your organization is interested in taking leadership of the powwow, please call Liz Turner at 878-9998, or to contact the committee through the powwow’s Web site: www.smokingriverpowwow.com.
Thank you for helping us continue this journey.
Organizers of Smoking
River Pow Wow