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Memorial powwow in King draws from across Southeast 8-07

King, North Carolina (AP) - They came from at least 13 states and three countries, from the Apache, the Cherokee and the Mohawk tribes. The remarkable part was not how much they differed, but how much they shared.

American Indians gathered from across the Southeast this weekend to celebrate their heritage and honor their forebears at the three-day Red Hawks Gathered Nations powwow.

“My hope is that when people walk away from the powwow, they will have a better understanding of our culture and what are the truths compared with the legends and myths,” said Lance Redhawk Shauger, who started the event last year with his wife, Dawn, in honor of his father.

The event, which ended Sunday, included a flag ceremony honoring military veterans on Saturday.

Master of ceremonies Jamie Spirit Warrior said the number of local veterans who participated demonstrate that American Indians have a proud history of serving in the military.

“We were warriors then, and we are warriors now. Eagle staffs have led American troops into battle just like U.S. flags,” he said.

Organizers said more than 1,500 paying guests attended through Saturday, representing more than a dozen states. Tribes and nations represented include Apache, Blackfoot, Cherokee, Comanche, Mohawk, Mohican, Seneca, Sioux and Six Nations.

David McIntyre said he traveled from Canada to help run the event because it shows how American Indians are joining to share their heritage and resources. It showed, he said, in the way diverse dancing and clothing styles combined during the flag ceremonies.

“There are more people with American Indian blood wanting to learn where they came from,” McIntyre said. “We’re encouraging them to explore and show pride in their dual heritage.”

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Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com
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