It is with great sadness that we announce the
cancellation of the Manataka Powwow. The event was
cancelled after long deliberation for several reasons.
Unlike Manataka Gatherings we hosted for many years,
a powwow event today is a costly commercial event.
Our Gatherings never charged an admission fee and we
normally did not have vendors hawking things to our
guests because money should never be a part of the
Yes, Gatherings cost money too, but
our Elders and members absorbed the cost in order to
avoid placing money at the center of our attention --
and away from the purpose and meaning of our spiritual
Dancers, singers, drummers and other presentations at
our Gatherings are performed by volunteers. But
this is not true at most powwows today. Powwows
require a substantial investment in promotion and
marketing, but this is not necessary with our Gatherings
because only those who are intended to be there are
there. Food is never at problem at Gatherings
because members chip-in and bring potluck meals to share
with everyone. At powwows food is sold to the
general public for profit and only performers share in a
Manataka is not about money. We do not apply
for or accept federal, state or foundation grants.
We do not send out mass mailings, do telephone
campaigns, or door knocking to raise funds --
we feel it is important to teach our children and
members to be self-sufficient like our ancestors.
We are not beggars of money but we accept unsolicited
donations and trade goods for money in fair exchange.
Manataka is 100% all volunteer with no paid staff.
That is our way and a commercial event does not fit our
purpose at this time.
The depressed state of our national and local economy
had a role to play in our decision as well.
We also considered the number and scope of the major
projects and services provided by Manataka that could
suffer from a lack of attention during the time it would
take to produce a large commercial event. That
fact was a reality we could not accept.
During the process of arranging the powwow
we ran into people who convinced us that the event was
not good for Manataka at this time. We found that
many wanted a competition powwow because it offers
certain incentives -- like money and ego trips.
Competition is good in games and displays of talent, but
it is not good when coupled with money and ego.
Yes, we could host a non-competition powwow, but the
ability to attract the best drums, singers and dancers
often depends on the prize money. Our national economy is based on competition
for capital -- Capitalism.
Teachers today tell us an education is important because
we must learn how to compete in today's world.
Competition for money brings out the worst in us --
greed, selfishness, and anger. It is sad, but true because an
education based on the
ability to compete does not teach anyone how to be a
real human and how to be happy. We do not teach
how to compete.
Health was another factor considered in the decision
to cancel. Three Manataka Elders in their 70's and
in poor health. Five Elders and most of our good
volunteers live in other states and unable to assist
with local work. Lee Standing Bear, the primary
local organizer and administrator, had a heart attack in
June and suffers from low blood pressure, dizzy spells
and other health issues. Manpower to accomplish a
large commercial event is lacking at this time.
Most vendors and contributors to the 2011 Manataka
Powwow have already received refunds. The
remainder will get refund checks before the end of July.
Yes, we are sad that the event had to be cancelled,
but we have faith that spirit is leading us in the right
If you need to contact us regarding the event, send us
an email at