kris rhodes Powwow for Hope

Powwow for Hope attendees singing and drumming in support of cancer prevention and early detection.

With support from the Prevent Cancer Foundation and other sponsors, the American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) organized the Powwow for Hope: dancing for life, love & hope. This powwow created a positive, culturally appropriate environment to honor and support cancer survivors, caregivers and families impacted by cancer and to increase cancer awareness and prevention education for American Indian families. This very special event was held in Minneapolis, MN on April 28, 2012, with over 2,000 participants from several tribal nations across the Midwest, including Red Lake Nation Tribal Chairman Buck Jourdain and U.S. Senator Al Franken.

Powwow for Hope was a dream shared by spiritual leader, Michael Dahl of the White Earth Anishinaabe. Michael is an energetic and passionate leader and volunteer for AICAF because he, like so many of us, has experienced the devastation caused by the cancer epidemic among American Indians.

American Indian community celebrating cancer survivors at Powwow for Hope.

By empowering people to get involved as volunteers, dancers, drummers, singers, educators, or to contribute monetarily, we successfully met our goals and raised more than $30,000 and more importantly, Powwow for Hope provided opportunities for Native people to get the support that has been missing when it comes to dealing with cancer. The twenty-eight teams that creatively raised most of the money before and during the event were critical to the success. These teams and others also donated more than 100 items to the silent auction. The Powwow for Hope was an immensely positive and successful event. Planning has already begun for Powwow for Hope 2013!

For more information visit www.powwowforhope.org or www.AICAF.org

Editor’s Note: The Prevent Cancer Foundation funded the Powwow for Hope project of the American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) as one of the 2012 community grants that focus on helping people prevent cancer or find it earlier. AICAF is a non-profit organization that was established to address the tremendous cancer inequities faced by American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The group leveraged the Foundation grant along with local community resources to hold the successful educational and cultural event and to support additional cancer programming for the community.

Read more about the 2012 grantees and previous grant awards.