Celebration promises to be meaningful experience

Dallas Chief Eagle will perform the Hoop Dance at the annual Prairie Awakening-Prairie Awoke Celebration. Photo courtesy Sierra Exif

Jingle Dress dancers will demonstrate a traditional healing dance at the annual Prairie Awakening-Prairie Awoke Celebration. Photo courtesy DCCB

The Dallas County Conservation Board invites the public to the annual Prairie Awakening-Prairie Awoke Celebration (PAPAC).

The event will take place in the tallgrass prairie arena at Kuehn Conservation Area, five miles north of Earlham, on Saturday, Sept. 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The theme of this year’s celebration is “The Healing Continues.”

In the spirit of healing, the origin story and traditions of the Jingle Dress Dance will be shared, followed by a Jingle Dress Dance presentation. Longtime PAPAC presenter and friend Dallas Chief Eagle will share his Hoop Dance traditions, with a demonstration and an invitation to the audience to participate, bringing healing to the arena.

The Brown Otter Drum from the Meskwaki Settlement will provide the music for these presentations and also offer up traditional songs of healing.

Naturalists from the Dallas County Conservation Board will engage the audience in the release of tagged monarch butterflies, sending prayers of health and hope with these migration miracles on their journey to Mexico. Additionally, a healed and rehabilitated red-tailed hawk will be released into the wild skies at Kuehn.

The Prairie Awakening-Prairie Awoke Celebration will conclude with Omaha-Winnebago Elder Irma Wilson White sharing the tradition of Prayer Ties. Irma will lead the audience in the construction of Prayer Ties to be hung in the tradition of healing as participants exit the arena.

A food truck will be available on-site. Please bring lawn chairs as limited seating is provided in the arena.

Anti-virus face masks will be required for all PAPAC attendees in the arena in order to honor the requests of the Native presenters and to ensure the health and safety of all participants. Event logistics are subject to change as COVID-19 protocols continue to evolve. Changes and updates will be announced on DCCB’s Facebook page and through weekly DCCB eNews postings.

For more information, call the DCCB’s administrative office at 515-465-3577 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Sarah Gilchrist is the outreach coordinator for the Dallas County Conservation Board.


  1. This member of the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma was going to attend until I saw the mask mandate. Too bad. No great loss for me, but perhaps they should get vaccinated?


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