People Doing Things That Matter: Jim Hallum, Santee Sioux
From the ‘About’ page of the Omaka Teca Wacipi aka New Years Eve Powwow Facebook page.
Creating a Healthy New Year’s Powwow Lifestyle Event
My name is James Hallum and I am a member of the Santee Sioux Nation and also live on the Santee reservation in Northeast Nebraska. I work for the Nebraska Indian Community College which serves the Santee Sioux Nation, Isanti Oyate, the Omaha Nation, Umon’hon’ and also the Siouxland area.
I do Tribal extension work which can consist of anything cultural, educational or dealing with healthy lifestyles. We have done everything from having buffalo kills to diabetes; cooking, preserving workshops, healthy lifestyle runs and sponsoring beading and star quilt classes.
One idea that came up was having a wacipi or powwow where all the tribes could be involved. . But first of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this, Wopida Tanka! Or Thank You.
Right now we are planning our 4th Annual Omaka Teca Wacipi aka New Years Eve Sobriety Powwow that is to be held again in Sioux City, Iowa at West High School, December 31st to the early morning of January 1st. The 1st and 2nd annual was a huge success with an estimated attendance of over one thousand attendees and dancers from the tri state area.
For most of you that are from a Native American Nation or community, you can understand the hardships our parents and grandparents had for the past 150 years. They chose to defy the hardships of the past, not forgetting, but acknowledging, remembering, learning from those situations and taking very large steps forward. Some moved to the cities hoping that their children could have better lives in health, happiness, and prosperity amongst themselves and others.
Omaka Teca Wacipi aka New Years Eve Sobriety Powwow
But by doing this many of the people lost something. That being identity and culture due to the fact of living in the cities. Losing ties with their past. This resulting in our relatives suffering high rates of alcoholism and addictions. The younger native people there face a lot of outside pressures and influences and a lot of them end up in gangs, using alcohol and controlled substances at early age, this in turn leading to dysfunctional lives and unhealthy lifestyles and some even going to prison.
So we decided to start our powwow or wacipi sounds like wahcheepee in Sioux City.
It is a community with a very diverse population with many different races living together. The native population alone is represented by 29 different tribes or nations. We want to try to make things better for the people and have combined the most important topics we feel that threaten their well-being and that being healthy lifestyles and identity. We have merged those two and hope to present them through another Annual New Year’s Eve Powwow event. This being through native song, dance as well as having healthy lifestyle speakers. All in a healthy alcohol and drug free environment.
In closing want to say that we believe by having this wacipi that somehow we’ve touched a young person’s life and by attending they never chose that first drink or used a drug for the first time. This is a very common occurrence on New Year’s Eve.
We are always looking for new ideas and any help from the people. Then there is always the need for more funding. It is a struggle but we somehow manage. Although donations are always welcome. In closing I would like to send out a personal invite to all and vendors are welcome. A goodwill donation at the end is all we ask to help offset costs. Nina Pidamiyapedo or thank you to all for taking time to read. We are most thankful to those of you that have the ability to help our cause and being part of it as well as creating new footprints to happier and healthier times for our people there.
If you have any questions about the powwow, contact Jim Hallum, Santee Sioux tribal member ©402-288-4298 or cell 402-961-0085 email jhallum©thenicc.edu or Minerva Valenzuela @ 605 464 4882.
Other Community Programs and Projects
Jim works also works with a number of community programs and projects such as the Dakota 38 + 2 Memorial Ride, the Ultimate Warriorz Contes , the Santee Garden and Market , and the NICC Buffalo Harvest – and don’t be surprised to find his name as spokesman or some other role for other events.