Efforts are underway to hold a Wampanoag Tribal Pow Wow on the grounds of the Aptucxet Trading Post in Bourne. The proposed date for the special event is September 25.
The Bourne Community Engagements Committee entertained the idea during its remote meeting Wednesday last week, February 10. The Bourne Historical Society would be the sponsor, and local historian Gioia Dimock represented the historical society during the meeting.
Ms. Dimock said the society was looking to the committee for $4,000 in funding for the event. Committee member Pamela Chmielinski said she believed the pow wow meets all the eligibility criteria to be funded by the engagements committee.
“It’s something, I think, that will bring people to Bourne,” Ms. Chmielinski. “Hopefully, by the end of September we’ll be fairly good about COVID.”
A pow wow is a social meeting held by many indigenous communities, notably Native American tribes. It is an opportunity to meet, dance, sing, socialize and honor their cultures.
Specific details as to what will be offered during the proposed Aptucxet pow wow were not finalized. The event was brought before the engagements committee for a pre-application review to discuss what should be included on the full application. Subsequent review of the full application will settle those specific details.
Committee members and Ms. Dimock did mention native dancers and other forms of entertainment. It was also finalized that the event would be a mini-pow wow, smaller in scale compared with the Wampanoag Tribe’s annual pow wow, which is typically a three-day affair.
Ronda J. Tobey of Gray Gables noted her involvement in a number of pow wows and suggested that $4,000 would likely not be enough to pay the cost, even of a mini-pow wow. Ms. Dimock said she has submitted a grant application to the New England Foundation for the Arts for $2,000.
Committee members also suggested charging for vendor space but limiting use of the space to Wampanoag tribe members. Funds could also be generated through a requested donation of $5 from attendees.
Efforts should be made, the committee agreed, to reach out to people across the Cape and get as many people from outside Bourne as possible to attend. A successful outreach campaign, members agreed, could lead to allowing Bourne residents to attend the pow wow free of charge.
Member Lorna Ciavola asked if Ms. Dimock could submit a final application for more than the $4,000 being discussed that night. Her fellow member Renee A. Gratis said she would be okay if the requested amount is slightly more but not significantly higher.
“I would not want to see a jump from $4,000 to $10,000,” Ms. Gratis said.
Members unanimously approved the idea of holding a mini-pow wow at Aptucxet Trading Post and voted in favor of moving the project to the next step of submitting an application to the committee for funding.
“I’m totally in favor of this,” member James L. Potter said. “If it does involve bringing the community in and it educates people, I can see that as a win-win for everybody.”
“I think this is going to be excellent for the town,” Ms. Tobey said. “The town is going to see things they’ve never seen before.”