The Pursuit of Powwow+: An Update from Year 5 Dreamstarter Freddy Gipp

Since arriving back in Lawrence from the Dreamstarter Academy earlier this month, I have had a lot of time to reflect on our journey to this very point.

I told myself that I would be back in Washington, D.C. on my own accord and shortly after, I mapped out a 5-year plan during my internship in 2017 on how to exactly do that. This is how it goes.

Year 1 – Gather Information

Year 2- Provide Evidence

Year 3- Grow Our Impact

Year 4- Expand Our Programming

Year 5- Establish Lawrence as a Destination Driver

To recap the last two years, I can briefly say that I have been at the “right place” at the “right time”. But that, alone, doesn’t make me successful. Year 1 was a lot of research and I interviewed dozens of people ranging from local and federal government officials to executive directors of associations and tribal leaders across the country.

We just wanted a better idea on what we were working with and that is how Lead Horse LLC was born.

Year 2 was really monumental, as we raised over $10,000 to host a powwow celebration for dancers and singers ages 18 to 29 with an entire head staff under the age of 25 at the time.

The purpose of this powwow was to “segment” our “target population” of Native American Dancers and Singers within a defined age group.

This was essential in developing our argument that Lawrence’s centralized proximity is ideal to host week-day powwow celebrations (something that is not common in the United States).

Over 25 dancers and singers from nine different states including Saskatchewan participated on our week-day event and thus further provided evidence that people are willing to travel to powwow celebrations at any time, to any place and from any location.

Now we are in Year 3 and to be honest, it is very surreal how fast this is going. We are less than two-months away from our 2nd annual event and have almost tripled our fundraising from last year.

Projecting growth is great and we are anticipating a much bigger outcome but we have not lost sight on where we started in the first place.

Help American Indian Youth by Donating Today!