Rock Ledge Powwow: ‘A blessed celebration’

       An estimated 3,000 people attended the Traditonal Powwow at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site Sept. 21. The fourth annual event featured numerous drum-led dances and more than 50 American Indians in traditional clothing.

A contingent including two Westside residents - Gene "Redhawk" Orner (second from left) and Ron "Redbadger" Wright (right) - join the silent attention to the traditional Victory Song after the posting of the colors following the Grand Entry at the fourth annual Rock Ledge Ranch Powwow Sept. 21. Also identified in the photo is Sarah Ortegon (far left), recently crowned Miss Native American USA.
Westside Pioneer photo

       According to lead organizer James “Blackwolf” Ramirez, “we had a strong Native American presence, with members of the Southern Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, Sioux, Southern and Northern Cheyenne, Osage, Mohawk, Apache, Crow, Cherokee, Delaware, Picuris, Chippewa, Navajo, Quapaw and Yaqui, as well as numerous other tribes… It was truly a blessed celebration with beautiful weather for the Native American community.”
       Surrounded by spectators, the powwow was situated in a large, circular area set aside on the Rock Ledge hayfield. Close by were a few dozen crafters, artisans and vendors. Demonstra-tions and exhibits were also provided.
       A celebrity attendee was Sarah Ortegon of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes, who last month was crowned Miss Native American USA. She plans to join a Native American dance company, the Native Pride Dancers, which will travel this fall to the Republic of Moldova in Eastern Europe.
       The event was mainly implemented through the efforts of the Living History Association (LHA) of Rock Ledge Ranch.
       Powwow participants came from around Colorado and even farther away, including Alaska, Ramirez said. “In addition, this was a tremendous educational experience for many [other people] in the Colorado Springs community and surrounding areas.”

Westside Pioneer article