Cedric is very predictable. So we were not surprised when he attended the National Conference of American
Indians recently and began pontificating about the importance of economic development. Well, for a long time Reel Wamps has lambasted him about the absence of a tribal economic development strategy and now he is taking our advice and idea with great fanfare. If he gave a damn in the first place he would understand that we should have had a back up business plan to his disastrous casino boondoggle. Trouble is it’s too late and everyone in Indian Country knows Cedric is a bungler without an original idea.
Here’s Cedric’s idea of economic development. The annual pow wow, (no longer called the Indian Circus but has graduated to the Indian Costume Ball because of the huge number of non Indian participants) was a meticulously planned annual celebration that raised about $15,000 – $25,000. It is now an over budgeted $120,000 flop that has gone in the hole at least $100K for the last 4 years. It’s probably worse than that because we never get a pow wow report. This year it’s about to take another nose dive. So why would you keep dumping money into a once treasured homecoming that continues to deteriorate in attendance and tribal member participation? A sensible business man or woman would evaluate the problem and correct it….let’s look at why the pow wow can’t draw a crowd or Natives ( Mashpee that is).
· Cedric is the MC for the 5th time. A total violation of tribal protocol. Cedric also lacks credibility on everything, let alone pow wow. His obsession as an Indian Impersonator is all consuming. Then he was in the CCT talking about pow wow. For Christ sakes, he had to be forced to get on the roll in 2006. Now he’s an expert. We all know David Pocknett should be doing that job. That is his area of expertise. He is well known throughout Indian Country for his knowledge. He is a good ambassador and what you call a draw. Participants, especially tribal members know things will be done on the up and the pow wow will be well done. We would be more likely to show up. That also goes for drummers, they know Pocknett and have worked with him for years and will not gouge us.
· The Pow Wow committee tried to give Pocknett the job for the 2nd time and David Weeden said they could not be “political” and anointed Cedric again. What’s more political than making Cedric the MC? The pow wow committee was once very influential because it kept tradition and the integrity of our prized celebration in tact. Now they have no say.
· Both the drumming and dance head judges are non-tribal members. What does that say? Damien Pocknett, Marita Scott, Selena Jonas, Marcus Hendricks and a long list of others could do the job.
· Head Man and Woman Dancers are Narragansett or Shinacock. Bet that makes you feel good! Bet you want to run right down and compete!
· Non Natives competing. We have few tribal members competing or other legitimate Native dancers . The influx of non Native participants in our traditional dancing and competition is a direct result of the disregard for our heritage, and the people who run the pow wow are more worried about Identifying tribal members than people dressing in costume impersonating Indians.
· $120 K budget and there’s nothing to advertise with. No program, just pleas on Facebook to spread the word. More of Cedric’s corny pleas begging people to come to the pow wow. Any vendors. Getting thin?
More staff shake ups and a block on a big raise……..