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Celebrate Native American Heritage at Hopkinsville Intertribal Pow Wow

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Trail of Tears PowWow, Facebook
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Trail of Tears Commemorative Park in Hopkinsville hosts its 27th Annual Pow Wow this weekend. Native Americans from across the nation come to compete in dances to the beat of authentic drumming, as well as to share fellowship with each other camping in the park. Trail of Tears Commissioner Peg Hays tells us more about the activities surrounding the dance circle on Sounds Good.

$6 donation for adults, $3 for children 6-12, free for children under 6. Donations go towards upkeep of the Trail of Tears Commemorative Park. 

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Credit Trail of Tears PowWow, Facebook
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Martha Redbone performs at Alhambra Theatre on Friday

'The Region's Premiere Multicultural Event'

The Pow Wow celebrates Native American life, and the Native Americans in our region, particularly the Cherokees, who have ancetral lands in our region. New this year is a concert by Native American performer Martha Redbone, sponsored by the Pennyroyal Arts Council at the Alhambra Theatre this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

More about the Martha Redbone concert

At the festival, experience singing, dancing, storytelling, flute demonstrations, drumming, arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, books and collectibles; activities for all ages; and food made by Native Americans. The event culminates in Grand Entries - where dancers from across the country compete in full regalia for $15,000 in prize money. 

Remembering The Trail of Tears

The Indian Removal Act of the early 1800s forced thousands of Native Americans from their ancestral lands to designated areas in the American West. The Cherokees marched in 1838-39 from Georgia and North Carolina to Oklahoma. They stopped in Hopkinsville at least three times during these years. The Trail of Tears Commemorative Park is the burial site of Chief Whitepath and Fly Smith, the only known burial sites of any chiefs or leaders of the Cherokee people during the forced relocation.

Over 10,000 people marched and at least 50% died, several while camped at Little River in Hopkinsville. While the Pow Wow is a celebration of Native American heritage, it also serves as a commemoration of the people forced to walk the Trail of Tears and a reaffirmation to never allow such an event to be repeated to any people.

Trail of Tears Commemorative Park Website

Trail of Tears Pow Wow on Facebook

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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