Pokagon Band hosts community talent show

Published 10:47 am Monday, March 18, 2019

DOWAGIAC — Saturday evening, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ community center was alive with dancing, music and people looking to show off their most celebrated talents.

The Pokagon Band Native Nations Youth Council hosted a community talent show Saturday evening at the Pokagon Community Center, 27034 Potawatomi Trail, Dowagiac. Awards were given to the Best in Show from Dowagiac, South Bend and Hartford, Best Singer, Best Dancer, Best Comedy Act and Best Joke.

According to organizers Wahsnoday Pamp, 19, chair of the youth council, and Rebecca Williams, 37, advisor to the youth council, the talent show served as a way for the youth council to reach out into the Pokagon community and provide an event that would bring the people together.

Comprised of local youth ages 12 to 24, the youth council provides a way for children to get involved with community events and have a leadership role within the Pokagon community, according to its leadership.

“One of the focuses [of the youth council] is definitely community,” Williams said. “We want to bring the community together. We wanted to provide a fun way to do that.”

“I think [the talent show] is a chance for us all to laugh at ourselves and throw aside our insecurities,” Pamp added. “I think that brings everyone a little bit closer.”

Several of those who participated in Saturday’s event said they appreciate what the youth council is doing and that they had fun showing off their talents to their tribe. Two of those individuals include cousins Myrissa Rowe, 11, and Journey Snay, 6, who took home the prize for Best in Show from Dowagiac.

“This was a lot of fun,” said Rowe, who has been doing gymnastics for two years. “It was fun to show what I have learned to everyone. … It also felt good [to have won Best in Show].”

Both Pamp and Williams said they were heartened by seeing the fun that participants had at the talent show Saturday, and said both the number of participants and the crowd that came out to watch the talent show were larger than expected.

“You never know what to expect for a first-time event, so it was kind of a gamble,” Williams said. “But we have had a lot of really good feedback.

Due to the excitement and interest generated by the talent show, Pamp said that the youth council would likely look to host another talent show again in the future.

“I hope everyone goes out and tells their friends and family what a great time they had,” he said. “That way, the next time we do this it will gain popularity and will be even bigger than [Saturday].”