Cleveland Powwow

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Karen Schaefer: For the last eight years Clevelanders have celebrated Native American culture at the annual Cleveland Powwow held every Father's Day weekend at Edgewater Park. For non-natives, the festival means colorful costumes, dancing, buffalo burgers and Indian fry bread. It's also a chance to meet some real Indians.

But for Cleveland's Native American population, the powwow has a deeper meaning. Beginning in the late 1950's, thousands of tribal members were encouraged by the federal government to move from reservations to cities like Cleveland, where new generations quickly lost touch with their native culture.

Today there are more than 2 million Native American peoples still living in the United States, both on and off the reservation. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the year 2070, virtually none of their descendants will qualify as full-blood Indians. In the meantime, Cleveland's Native Americans will continue to celebrate their heritage and do their best to preserve Native culture for the generations yet unborn. In Cleveland, Karen Schaefer, 90.3 WCPN News.

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