Indian Pow Wow in Southern Illinois

Native American tribes from throughout the Midwest gathered in Carbondale for a Pow Wow.

The Southern Illinois Saluki Pow Wow brought the Choctaw, Cheyenne, Cherokee and Seneca tribes to the Carbondale Civic Center to share their old/traditional ways of life.

"It's been our way for thousands of years our traditions," said Michael Pamonicutte of the Menominee Tribe.

"And if us elders don't teach our younger ones this tradition would die, and we never want it to die."

With every beat of the drum, the ways of the Native American life come alive. Organizers say it's the drums that are the center of their culture and it's the circle around the drum that keeps the dance going.

The Native Americans were the first to inhabit these lands and they taught our founding fathers their ways.

"All of your basic freedoms and your bill of rights came from the council of fires of the Seneca, Mohawk and Cayuga. That's where Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson got their ideas of freedom of speech," said Butch Mudbone of the Seneca Tribe.

Which is why the tribes of the Midwest continue to gather to share their ways and traditions with one another as they continue to teach the modern world the old ways of Native American life.

"If you honor your elders then you're going to take care of them and not put them in a home and forget about them. If you honor your people and your children and the way we do the things we do with respect, your life is going to be much better," said Mudbone.

And it all begins with the dance of the Native Americans.

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