Pow Wow

Our Pow Wow starts on Saturday, January 19, 2013.

Preston Tone-Pah-Hot
Preston Tone-Pah-Hote, Jr., (Kiowa), American Indian Inaugural Pow Wow Chairman


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Pow Wow Advisor Preston E. Tone-Pah-Hote, Sr.
is a retired federal employee. Prior to retirement, Preston Sr. participated in many American Indian activities which included Eagle Talon Brotherhood of Kansas City, Missouri, American Indian Society of Pennsylvania, American Indian Science and Engineering Society and a member for years in National Congress of American Indians. Preston Sr. a member of Kiowa Nation, grew up two miles west of Carnegie, Oklahoma and attended Riverside Indian School, Anadarko, Oklahoma. He now makes his home at Orrick, Missouri. Preston Sr. has always been active in the American Indian culture and his children and grandchildren carry on being who they are …KIOWA.

Arena Director Darryl K. Swift is Hidatsa/Lakota enrolled Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara, Retired United States Army First Sergeant of 27 years of Honorable Service. He currently resides in Tacoma, Washington with his wife Laura, son Chris daughter Winona, and numerous grandkids. Active in Native Culture, he has travel throughout Canada and the United States Fancy and Traditional dancing, and supports family at Sundance ceremonies. Darryl is very active in the community by providing mentoring and leadership roles to Native youth. Darryl is very honored to be selected as an Arena Director for this year’s American Indian Inaugural Powwow and would like to thank the American Indian Inaugural Ball Committee and The American Indian Society for this opportunity to once again serve Native people.

Arena Director Kevin Tarrant is a member of the Winnebago/HoChunk Tribe of Nebraska and the Hopi Tribe of Arizona. He was brought up in the traditional way and has been dancing since the age of 2 and singing since the age of 9, with the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. For the past 21 years he has been the head singer of The SilverCloud Singers, which was formed in 1991 with his brother Michael Tarrant, and friends Randy Whitehead and Lance Richmond. With the group he has performed at most major venues in New York City, including The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Madison Square Garden, The Ritz, Roseland, LaMama Theater, Theater for New City, Lincoln Center, The National Museum of the American Indian, The Museum of Natural History, The Public Theater and The Apollo Theater, and also appeared on the soundtrack Song for Native Americans with Robbie Robertson. Also took part in PERCPAN VI, an international percussion festival in Salvador, BRASIL. Kevin has also served as Master of Ceremonies at various events, most recently at Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin a nightly Native American show from Memorial Day thru Labor Day. Solo, he has performed with Ulali, David Amaram, and Allessandra Belloni. He has also sung in the Off-Broadway Productions of "Winterman" and "The Rez Sisters". He has sung at the U.N. as well as various other venues such as Trinity Church, The Beacon Theater, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. He recently appeared on "Emeril LIVE - Native American Cooking." He has also taught Native American Singing at the Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.

Master of Ceremonies Vernon “Cy” Ahtone Hello and welcome to everyone. My name is Vernon “Cy” Ahtone. I am four fourths Kiowa and an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. I am also a member and serve as Master of Ceremonies to the well known Kiowa Gourd Clan, located in Carnegie, Oklahoma. I served as the Master of Ceremonies, Head singer and Head Gourd dancer for many Pow-wows all over the United States. I live in Elgin, Oklahoma, with my wife Sharon. Sharon and I have three children: one daughter Latricia Pherigo and two sons Vernon Clouse Ahtone and Brian Ahtone. We have seven Grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and another on the way. I am employed by the Kiowa Gaming Commission as an inspector at the Kiowa Casino in Verden and Devol Oklahoma. I am very honored and proud to serve as Master of Ceremonies for this Pow-wow, and I hope everyone has a wonderful and fun time at the Pow-wow.

Keith Colston
Master of Ceremonies E. Keith Colston
of the Tuscarora and Lumbee tribes, is the Assistant Director of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs (MCIA). The MCIA initiates and supports a wide range of activities that promote the welfare of Maryland's Indian people and furthers the understanding of American Indian history and culture. The MCIA provides a forum for the concerns of Maryland's American Indian communities and serves as a vital liaison between these communities and the state and federal governments.

As Assistant Director of the MCIA, Mr. Colston supervises the MCIA’s programs and activities and serves as the custodian of Native American records and artifacts. He also advises Indian community leaders, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and other state agencies about decisions affecting the Native American community.

Under Mr. Colston’s leadership, the MCIA has become an integral part of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. Mr. Colston works tirelessly in providing a safe community for Native Americans. He has organized various events that have focused on crime prevention, job training, college preparation, health care, and transit improvements for Native American families. He also coordinated for American Indian Heritage Day (MD State Holiday) which falls on the 4th Friday of November and various activities for American Indian Heritage Month throughout the State.

Mr. Colston is a graduate of the Baltimore Division’s Citizens’ Academy and a current member of the Maryland Multicultural Advisory Council, Gaithersburg Multicultural Affairs Committee. On numerous occasions, Mr. Colston has invited the FBI to speak at meetings and participate in American Indian Heritage Month events and job fairs.

Mr. Colston is a council member for the Regional Health Equity Council under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and serves as the cultural consultant for the Baltimore American Indian Center. He also serves as master of ceremonies for Pow-Wow, Inc.

Mr. Colston is humbled to have received certificates, proclamations, citations and awards from various entities. Notable mentions:
  • Outstanding Indian Youth – United Tribes of North Carolina
  • Brantley Blue Award – Baltimore American Indian Center
  • Distinguished Service Award – The American Indian Society of Washington, DC
  • Director’s Community Leadership Award – Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • “Historical First” – First Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs Director to achieve “Maryland Indian Status” for the Indigenous Piscataway Tribes

Charles Belisle
Head Man Charles Belisle
was born and raised in Oneida, Wisconsin. He is a member of the St Croix Ojibwa, Eagle clan on his father’s side and also of the Oneida tribe, Turtle clan on his mother’s side. Belisle is currently employed as a mechanic with Tony’s Roadside Service, his present employer along with previous employers have always been supportive of his cultural ways by encouraging him to take the time to continue his dancing and traditional beliefs. Charles has 5 children, Keshia-23, William-21, Charles Jr.-16, Ava-9, and his youngest Keegun-4 whom he and Cassie Thomas introduced to the circle too. Charles has been dancing for over 20 years, first as a grass dancer, but finding his true love in traditional dancing he decided to make that change. Dancing has enabled him to travel throughout Canada, the United States and Brazil. Because of his fairness and respect to the arena, Charles has served as head judge and head dancer at many pow wows and native events. Charles is very honored to be asked to be the Head Dancer for this year’s American Indian Inaugural Pow Wow.

Dora Old Elk BirdsHead
Head Lady Dora (Old Elk) BirdsHead
is an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe of Montana, known as the Apsaalooke, which translates to “children of the long beaked bird.” Her Apsaalooke name is Umbuddbahjilleegache, which means “See’s the Battleground.” She belongs to the Whistling Water Clan and is a child of the Greasy Mouth Clan. She also proudly represents the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of Montana. Her Nakota name is Chadaskawea, which means “White Falcon Woman.” Her parents are Clayton (Crow) and Georgianna (Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux). Dora was raised in the traditional ways of both the Crow and the Sioux. She grew up in the pow wow circle and started dancing when she was just a toddler and continues to dance the Women’s Northern Traditional Crow style outfitted in an elk-tooth dress. She enjoys traveling with her family throughout the United States and Canada participating in cultural activities and traditional ceremonies. Dora currently resides in the DC Metropolitan Area and works with the Indian Health Service Headquarters Offices. She has been working with the Federal Government for the past 14 years. She majored in Geographic Information Systems at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. Her husband, Nick BirdsHead, is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. Together they have two daughters, Iliana and Carmela.

Buddy
Junior Man Preston “Buddy” Tonepahhote, III
is an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and of the Onondaga Clear Sky from Six Nations Ontario. He is the grandson of Preston Tonepahhote and Rose Marie Nez, a descendant of Kone tah kone ke ah on his Tonepahhote side and Zabile on his Ahtone side. His Maternal Grandmother is Audrey Shoflay of Hamilton, Ontario. Buddy is currently a 7th grader at Clark Lane Middle School in Waterford, Connecticut. He resides in Quaker Hill, Connecticut, with his parents Preston Jr. and Melanie Tonepahhote. Preston’s Indian name is Tdye dohn khee, meaning “Wounded Eye,” given to him by his Great Grandfather Jacob Ahtone in a ceremony at Anadarko Oklahoma. Preston has been dancing since he could walk. Having chosen to be a traditional dancer he has competed at pow wows throughout the United States and Canada, and as far as Fairbanks, Alaska, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is honored to be the head boy dancer.

Lady Alexis Wasee Hill
Junior Lady Alexis “Wasee” Hill
Alexis or “Wasee,” as she is known to her family, is Seneca, Ojibwa and Santa Ana Pueblo. She is the daughter of Philip and Catherine Hill and granddaughter to Bob and Ruth Obenstine and the late Evangeline and Josiah Hill. She is a 7th grader at Rippon Middle School. Alexis is a champion Fancy Shawl Dancer. She also dances Jingle dress along with dancing in traditional Santa Ana Pueblo ceremonies and feasts. Alexis represents the American Indian Society of Washington, DC as their Junior Princess, a title she has held since 2008. She travels to many powwows as a representative of the American Indian Society, traveling as far North as Canada and as far West as New Mexico. Wasee is also an accomplished gymnast and is active in track, basketball and Girl Scouts.

Lead Singer Ralph Zotigh, of the Zotigh Singers, was instrumental in bringing the Pow Wow tradition to the American Southwest. He is originally from Oklahoma and has lent his family name Zotigh (pronounced Zoe-Tie) to his drum group. The Zotigh Singers blend a rich combination of Ralph’s knowledge and experience ‘at the drum,’ with the talented voices of his singers, who represent many Southwestern tribes, to produce a wide variety of powwow songs.

The Zotigh Singers are from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and formally organized in 1996. In 1997, they won the prestigious Southern Singing Championship at the Gathering of Nations Powwow. Since then, they have won numerous singing contests and have been asked to serve as host drum for major powwows from coast-to-coast. Individual singers from the drum have composed all their original songs. To date, the Zotigh Singers have produced six CD’s under the Indian House, Sweet Grass and Cool Running’s recording labels. Their CD’s have been nominated for both Native American Music Awards (NAMA) and Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards (APCMA). They not only share their music on the powwow trail, but also stay active in the Southwest sharing music at schools, civic events and national forums. The Zotigh Singers would like to say Aho (Thank you) to the 2013 Inaugural Powwow Committee for selecting them to be a host drum at this year’s American Indian Inaugural Pow Wow.

The Boyz, a championship Northern-style drum group from St. Paul, Minnesota, have established themselves as one of pow-wow's hottest groups through their powerful singing and distinctive songmaking skills.