Preview: Treatment center to host 41st Annual Sobriety Powwow

Mash-ka-wisen Treatment Center gears up for Sawyer powwow Aug. 2-4

The 41st Annual Sobriety Powwow will take place Friday, Aug. 2, to Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Mash-ka-wisen powwow grounds on Mission Road in Sawyer.

The powwow has been around nearly as long as the Mash-ka-wisen Treatment Center, which became the first treatment center owned and operated by Native Americans in the U.S. when it opened in 1977.

The powwow a chance for former clients, staff and the community to celebrate sobriety together, said James W. Mallery II, administrator of the Mash-ka-wisen Treatment Center.

"Everyone is welcome and it's a free event," Mallery said. "If you've never been here, come and join it."

The events will start at 8 p.m. Friday with an open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and warm-ups, meaning anyone can dance and sing without a grand entry.


A sunrise pipe ceremony will start the day at 6:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, with a flag raising and breakfast to follow at 9 a.m. AA meetings will take place both days at 10 a.m.

A group of sobriety runners is expected to arrive at the grounds Saturday as part of the 23rd Annual Anishinaabe Spirit Run, which kicked off Wednesday, July 31. The 185-mile run starts on the Red Lake Indian Reservation and ends in Sawyer.

Attendants can join a feast at 5 p.m. Saturday. There will also be local food and artisan vendors on-site.

Grand entries will begin at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m Sunday with Miziiwekaamikiinang as the host drum. A raffle drawing at 4 p.m. Sunday will cap off the events.

Camping will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some sites offer electric and water hookups.

No drugs or alcohol are allowed on the grounds.

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