Choctaw Nation celebrates Thanksgiving with annual Pow Wow

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BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- While many people rushed out to the stores for Black Friday, travelers from all over the country gathered in Bryan County today to slow down and give thanks.

The Choctaw Nation held their 9th annual Pow Wow at the Convention Center, bringing in tribes from as far away as Canada and California.

Michael Roberts, Arena Coordinator, said it's a way to remember what's important during the Thanksgiving season.

"In life, things change so fast, you know. Our families could be worse off. Something could happen. It's always good to give thanks," he said.

The gathering is also a way to share culture between tribes.

"Back in the old days, whenever people would come to our encampments, we would do these things. We would bring our dancers forward and showcase them. Making them feel welcome," he said.

Clifton Goodwill is originally from Canada, here on behalf of four different tribes. He travels to these events because he loves the fellowship.

"We laugh, and just share among one another. And that's one of the main reasons I enjoy coming to American Pow Wow's such as this," he said.

He thinks it's also important to share their culture with people who aren't Native Americans.

"When they come to a lot of these Native American gatherings, they actually see a side of the Native Americans they haven't read about," he said.

And that's why visitors said they keep coming back each year.

"It's extremely important to keep our heritage intact. And I admire these people for doing it," said Elizabeth Duncan.

Linda Rutledge agrees.

"Especially some of these children that are less than a year old in their regalia. They just keep growing. It's just wonderful," she said.

Roberts said the event runs through Saturday, wrapping up with some friendly dance competitions between the different tribes.

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