Experiencing the Native American culture through food

Immerse yourself and your family in the rich history of the American Indian culture at this year’s National Powwow in Danville. Geneva Horsechief-Hamilton, from Pawhuska, OK, and Amy Brewer of Raleigh, NC, explain!

National Powwow – July 6-9, 2017

National Powwow XVII, which has been held every three years since its inception in 1969, returns to Danville July 6-9 at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex. The four-day event introduces visitors to a cultural experience filled with traditional singing and dancers in full regalia, primitive skills demonstrations, a living history tipi village, ethnic foods, crafts, artisans, kids’ activities and so much more.

The powwow, which debuted in Danville in the summer of 2011 after previous stops in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Tipton, Ind., attracted more than 850 participants and 2,000 visitors to Hendricks County. Brewer said he hopes to see those numbers increase this year with its return to the same location. Organizers also are expecting about 100 vendors at the event, whose wares will include American Indian jewelry, musical instruments, art and crafts.

Danville, Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds

Background Info:

Geneva Horsechief-Hamilton is from the Osage, Pawnee, Potawatomi, and Blackfeet Nations.  She is from the Golden Eagle Clan from the Hominy District of the Osage Nation and Bear Clan from the Pawnee Nation Pitahawirata Band.  Geneva often cooks fry bread in the Osage Nation and knows the history.

Gates open at 8:30 a.m. daily. A full schedule of festivities continues throughout all four days, transforming the 110-acre fairgrounds into an American Indian experience with something of interest for everyone in the family. Participants will come from all over the country and even Canada to provide daily activities such as educational seminars focusing on tribal customs and history and various craft instruction. Highlights of the event include a special dance to honor Veterans on July 7, a children’s powwow and a national craft contest on July 8, the crowning of the National Powwow princess, and many other interactive activities designed to educate and entertain visitors.

Admission is $6 daily for adults, $3 for children ages 5-12 while children under 5 get in free. Select groups can receive a special discounted $1 admission throughout the event. Those special days include:

  • Thursday, July 6 – Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in uniform.
  • Friday, July 7 – Servicemen including Active Duty Military, Veterans, EMS, Police and Fire Services with identification.
  • Saturday, July 8 – 4-H members.
  • Sunday, July 9 – Hendricks County residents.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit the National Powwow website at www.NationalPowwow.com.

The Hendricks County Tourism Commission d/b/a Visit Hendricks County attracts visitors to the county by promoting and developing tourism, which stimulates economic growth and enhances quality of life. Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/VisitHendricksCounty and become a fan for updates and reminders, contest info and much more. You can also follow us on Twitter @HendricksCounty or get updates by following or subscribing to our tourism blog at VisitHendricksCounty.com/blog. For more information, visit our website at VisitHendricksCounty.com or call (317) 718-8750.

Traditional Indian Frybread, Geneva Horsechief-Hamilton, Pawhuska, OK

Recipe: https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/native-recipes/frybread-101-a-basic-recipe-and-timeline/

Yield: Makes 16 frybreads


4 cups all-purpose white flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups warm water

About 2-½ cups vegetable oil or shortening for frying


In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir in the water until dough becomes soft and workable without sticking to the bowl. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface 5 minutes. Return dough to bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let rest 30 minutes to allow it to rise.

Shape dough into 16 evenly-shaped balls. Place a piece of the dough between your hands and pat it from hand to hand as you would pizza dough, or roll out to ½-inch thickness on a lightly floured board. (For crispier bread, roll dough to ¼-inch thickness.) Pat or roll the dough until it stretches to about 10-12 inches in diameter. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Cut or poke a small hole in the center of each piece to prevent breads from bursting during frying.

Pour about 1-½ inches of oil into a large frying pan and heat over medium heat until the oil shimmers—hot but not smoking.

Carefully place a dough round into the hot oil, taking care not to let the hot oil splash. Cook until dough turns golden brown and puffs, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn over with a fork and cook until both sides are golden brown.

Remove and drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag until excess oil is absorbed. Repeat the process with each piece of dough. Keep warm between two clean kitchen towels in the oven set on low or warm. Serve immediately.

Dutch Oven Cobbler (also called Lazy Cobbler), Amy Brewer, Raleigh, NC


2 (30 oz.) cans sliced peaches, in syrup

1 package white or yellow cake mix

ground cinnamon to taste

1-1/2 sticks of butter (12 Tbsp)

Topping: Ice cream or whipped cream, if desired


  1. Place a 12-inch camp Dutch oven over 15 hot charcoal briquettes.
  2. Pour contents of peach cans into oven. Spread dry cake mix evenly over peaches. Sprinkle cinnamon over all to taste.
  3. Cut butter or margarine into thin, equal slices and arrange evenly on top.
  4. Put lid on top of oven and place 10 hot charcoal briquettes in a checkerboard pattern on top.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until done.
  6. Spoon into bowls and top with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

**Bonus recipe for making at home in 13×9 baking dish**

Cherry-Blueberry “Dump Cake”


1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

1 (21 ounce) can blueberry pie filling

3/4 cup sliced almonds

1 package white or yellow cake mix

1-1/2 sticks of butter (12 Tbsp)

Topping: Ice cream or whipped cream, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. “Dump” the cherry and blueberry pie fillings in the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. Sprinkle the nuts over the fruit. Spread dry cake mix evenly over the top.
  3. Cut butter or margarine into thin, equal slices and arrange evenly on top.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the fruit starts to bubble up around the edges and the edges start to turn golden.
  5. Spoon into bowls and top with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

To learn more, visit http://nationalpowwow.com/.