Mendota Mdewakanton Pow Wow Sept. 13-15, all welcome, volunteers needed

The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community is holding its 20th annual Wacipi, or traditional Pow Wow, from Friday Sept. 13 to Sunday, Sept. 15 at the grounds of St. Peter’s Catholic Church,  1405 Sibley Memorial Highway, Mendota. Here is a flyer with the details.

You are invited to come and learn about Dakota culture. Organizers also are looking for volunteer help.

Photo from the 18th annual Mendota Wacipi. (Photo courtesy of Lorie Schaull.)

Cherokee Park United Church has organized Wacipi volunteers for a number of years, but it’s a small church and needs help.

Maria McNamara is the volunteer coordinator and the person to contact if you want to help. You can email her at:

Here are the various needs:

On Saturday, about a dozen kitchen volunteers are needed at the Pow Wow from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (You can volunteer for some or all of that time.) Saturday work involves washing and chopping fruits and veggies, roasting root veggies, cooking wild rice, and packaging food into containers for transport.

On Sunday, volunteers meet around 9:30 a.m. at the Cherokee Park United Church basement kitchen, 371 Baker St. W., St. Paul to prepare food for the closing feast. Volunteer jobs include making coleslaw, wild rice salad, and organizing all the food and utensils to bring to the Pow Wow grounds. Volunteers will start loading food into cars around 4 p.m. Drivers are welcome!

Once on site, volunteers begin set up, then start serving around 5:30 p.m. (or whenever the emcee decides to announce it!) They serve anywhere from 150 to 250 people and need approximately 15 volunteer servers. After serving, volunteers help pack up the left overs and equipment and haul it back to the church.

Email Maria with questions. Please share this request with your networks.

About the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community

From the Mendota community’s website:

The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Dakota culture and heritage.

We have over 125 current members in good standing. Many members meet monthly in Mendota, Minnesota at the DuPuis House. Members in good standing pay their contributions each month.

Without their contributions Mendota would have to close our doors. We also have honorary members who choose to pay their contributions to Mendota.

If you want to become an honorary member the application is on our website under downloads.

The majority of the ancestors of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community can be traced back to Mendota, Minnesota in the 1700s.

The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community is working on regaining and keeping its culture and heritage so that future generations of people from all walks of live can learn and will know about the Dakota culture.

For more, read this 2015 Twin Cities Daily Planet story: The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota’s annual celebration of survival.

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