Nansemond Indian Powwow returns with two-day celebration of culture, heritage

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Nansemond Indian Powwow returns after being canceled the past two years, bringing numerous tribes to Suffolk for a celebration of the Native American culture and heritage.

The 32nd annual powwow is a free, family-friendly event with traditional song, dance and dress, along with delicious food, traditional crafts and other fun activities.

This year’s event is set for Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-21 on the tribe’s Chuckatuck land at 1001 Pembroke Lane, which runs off Godwin Boulevard across from Oakland Elementary School. Festivities are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Email newsletter signup

The grand entry ceremony begins at noon Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Tribal chiefs, honor guard and dancers in traditional regalia present the colors before the drums start beating and the dancing commences.

Returning this year are Clark Stewart (Chickahominy) as the powwow’s master of ceremonies, and Maurice Proctor (Piscataway) as the arena director. The head man and woman will be Kalen Anderson (Nansemond) and Haily Holmes (Chickahominy), respectively, with Stoney Creek of Hollister, North Carolina as the host drum and War Paint of Lumberton, North Carolina as the guest drum.

“Though we hold our powwow within the state of Virginia, state borders came long after us,” the powwow website states. “Our history and our relationships have no borders.”

The annual event has been held since 1988, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no admission fee for the event. No drugs, alcohol or pets will be allowed, but therapy or comfort pets may be permitted.

Organizers note that public health protocols will be in place for the event.

“All are welcome at this family-friendly event featuring Native American song, dance, food and crafts,” the flier for this year’s powwow states. Vendor space is also available.

For additional information, email