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Mille Lacs Tribe's Pow Wow Honors Veterans, Celebrates Opening Of Museum Exhibit

ONAMIA, Minn. (WCCO) -- A unique celebration in the Mille Lacs area Monday afternoon honored veterans past and present.

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and its veterans group hosted a Memorial Day pow wow at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post.

"The drums and the regalia is just all so beautiful," Maria Stevenson, from Onamia said.

On this Memorial Day, the annual tradition returned to Onamia. The annual Memorial Day weekend powwow says "thank you" to veterans of past and present.

"It is my first time seeing a powwow," Ed Haskett, from White Bear Lake, said.

Whether it's your first time or one of many, the dancing, drums, and colorful attire are a piece of history that date back hundreds of years.

"I think it's great," Haskett said

The event was hosted by the Mille Lacs Band and the Mille Lacs Band Veterans at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post.

"I get to go with my friends and present our flags and represent the veterans of Minnesota." Jamie Short, a veteran with the Mille Lacs Band Veterans said.

The powwow capped off a grand opening weekend of a new exhibit at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post.

"It's essentially a social gathering for native people and not native people to come together," Rita Walaszekarndt, with the Minnesota Historical Society Native American Initiatives, said.

Visitors got to experience the joy of a contemporary powwow and learn about the Women of the Big Lake.

The exhibit is being put on by the Minnesota Historical Society.

It was open to the public as part of a grand opening of a new exhibit, Women of The Big Lake, which honors Mille Lacs Band members Margaret Hill, Maude Kegg, Cheryl Minnema and Batiste Sam for their contributions to American Indian Arts.

The exhibit will also have an event on Friday, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Breakfast will be served and you can check out the museum for free.

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