Submitted: Brian Quirk, Flaming Arrow
The Native Sons and Daughters Timucuan Longhouse of Jacksonville were the hosts of the 2016 Sunshine State Pow Wow. Due to the special nature of this event, the gathering sees tribes travel from as far away as Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Hollywood, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Cape Canaveral, Ponte Vedra Beach and of course, Jacksonville. Held annually, each of the member groups gather to demonstrate crafts, banners, Native American regalia, coup sticks, drums, tribal shirts and a host of individual items that specific children have assisted in creating. As one father stated, “State Wide is like a regular Longhouse on steroids, my kids and I wouldn’t think of missing one”.
This year’s event was held at the beautiful Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. Several hundred members and their children joined us for the event. This year’s Pow Wow took on a very special meaning as the Chairman of the Board of Elders, Greg Measor (Gray Horse), The National Chief, Bryan Davis (Big Wolf) and the State Chief of Florida, Brian Quirk (Flaming Arrow) were all in attendance. The campers were granted beautiful weather by the Great Spirit and one could hear the gentle breezes blowing through the pines. Some of the entertainment at this year’s Pow Wow included; Jimmy Sawgrass, Ed Winddancer, Chief Rawley Snake Trainer, Grey Squirrel and the Deer Dancers.
Special recognition was presented in several categories this year. Best Desert was awarded to Bill “Kicking Buffalo” Valentino for his Dutch-oven cherry cobbler. Furthest traveled was won by Andrew “Eagle Feather” Stainsby (he drove all the way from Asheville, NC). Best tribal Native American campsite display went to the mighty Yuma tribe (Pictured above). Best individual Native American campsite display went to the Flaming Arrow site (Pictured above). First year attendee, Ryan “Howls at Moon” King, Nation Chief of the Tocobaga Nation (Tampa, FL) stated, “My kids are having a blast, the storytelling and entertainment is outstanding”.
Each year, the host Nation puts on a Sacred Fire Ceremony. This year’s fire ceremony was created and delivered by Scott “Flash of Lightning” Smith. The ceremony includes a Broken Arrow or graduation component as well. Some of our children “Broke Arrow” with their fathers as several hundred in the audience looked on. The evening concluded with a special Native American show put on by Jimmy Sawgrass and his family.
Next year’s event will be hosted by the Eola Nation out of Orlando. For more information on our special parent/child program, please visit our website at www.nsdjax.org.