Tribe's Dakee Si (Fall Gathering) Pow Wow 2023

The Lipan Apache Tribe’s 53nd Annual Dakee Si (Fall Gathering) Pow-Wow took place on October 28, 2023, in Alton, Texas, at the Alton Community Center. Tribe Vice-chair Robert Soto reports that this year’s fall event was very successful with over 40 participating dancers, 14 vendors, and over 1500 spectators at this free pow-wow. The dancers joined from all over--the local region, throughout Texas, and across the US. Our head staff were:
◈Head Man Dancer....Homer Hinojosa.... Lipan Apache
◈Head Lady Dancer.....Deborah West....Lipan Apache
◈Head Gourd Dancer......Ernest Stevenson
◈Master of Ceremonies....Bob Woolery....Cherokee/Chickasaw
◈Arena Director......Reynaldo Leal III.....Lipan Apache
◈Host Drum Huisache Creek Singers...Head Singer Ruben Soto...Lipan Apache
◈Invited Drum...Texas Connection....Head Singer Eloy Solis...Lipan Apache

The pow-wow celebration was organized and run by the Konitsaa Nde Native Community, led by Robert Soto, Vice-chair of the Lipan Apache Tribe, who coordinate the general fund-raising and sponsors, special guests, drum group, arena set-up, vendors, and pow-wow schedule.

The pow-wow activities began early morning on Saturday with the ceremonial Badger Run, traditional long distance running event. This year, Badger Runners—Robbie Soto (White/North Badger) and another tribe member who prefers anonymity (Black/East Badger)—covered the 5.1 mile distance from the Veteran's memorial in Mission to the pow wow site. As the lead badger runners, Robbie carried the eagle feather baton throughout his run and presented it at the end of the run to the Council members attending.

After the Gourd Dancing at 11am, the grand entry commenced at 1pm as participants danced into the circle, led into the arena by veterans carrying the eagle feather staff and flags. The eagle feather staff represents the “flag” of American Indian people throughout North America. Also, eagle feathers are sacred to the Lipan Apache who have been mandated since the beginning of time to hold the Eagle sacred and use its feathers in their ceremonies. We were then honored by having City of Alton Mayor Salvador Vela make opening remarks.

This year’s Dakee Si Pow Wow’s sponsors were the City of Alton, the Lipan Apache Tribe, Konitsaa Nde Native Community, Son Tree Native Path, and McAllen Grace Brethren Church. We want to thank the City of Alton for offering their rec center and facilities free to the Tribe and Sam Mercado, Director of Community Services/Recreation and Special Projects for the City of Alton, for his encouragement, support, and help in successfully bringing the pow wow to Alton.