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Sat, Nov. 16

Pow-wow honors veterans all weekend

The Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 608 will award the Warriors Medal of Valor to veterans who attend the 4th annual Intertribal Social Pow-Wow at Watson Lake in Prescott that runs this Friday through Sunday, said (Ret.) USMC Sgt. Alfonso Santillan Jr.

The public is invited to attend the pow-wow, and various tribes are contributing presentations and social dancing. Arts and crafts and food vendors also will be on site.

The pow-wow will run Friday from 5 to 11:30 p.m., Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

A free all-night concert, featuring performances by Keith Secola, the Infamous Rezil, and the Northern Drum team, also known as "Saste Takoja," will take place Friday beginning at 4 p.m., will break for dinner at 5:30 p.m., and resume at 7 p.m. through 11:30 p.m.

Secola is an Anishinabe/Ojibwa Native from Minnesota. He is an award-winning figure in contemporary music, and has a band called the Wild Band of Indians. His most notable movie score was "Indian Kar" for the popular Native American film "Dance Me Outside."

No drugs, alcohol or pets will be allowed on the pow-wow grounds.

The theme of this year's pow-wow is elders embracing youths, and the master of ceremonies will be Vernon Foster, Santillan said.

"We will be decorating elders, and the youths will assist with the presentation," Santillan said.

The Young Marines Color Guard and Prescott High School JROTC Color Guard will be there as well. Santillan asks veterans to wear their uniform with medals.

The presentation of the medals will be from 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, so Santillan is asking that veterans who were honorably discharged or who are on active duty register from 9 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. at the registration booth.

Larry Kimmel of the Miami Tribe of Indians of Indiana and Ed Albert of the Cherokee of the Bear Clan will present the medals with assistance from past honorees, the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the JROTC cadets from Prescott High School, said Santillan, who is of the Huichol tribe.

Santillan said veterans associations from across Arizona, including the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion and the Green Valley Marine Corps League, have donated 500 medals to honor veterans at the pow-wow.

The Warrior's Medal of Valor was designed by Marshall Tall Eagle Serna, who wanted to honor veterans with a medal to show his appreciation for their sacrifices, Santillan said. The front of the medal shows the head of an eagle with an American flag in the background and two eagle feathers at the bottom of the medal. The red, yellow, black and white stripes on the medal's ribbon represent the four directions.

The medal was first awarded in the Prescott area in 2007, when 174 medals were presented to veterans. To date, 565 medals have been presented to local veterans.

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