What is a POW WOW?

A POW WOW is many things: a gathering of Native American people to celebrate their rich heritage; to socialize with old friends and to make new friends; an opportunity to expose non-Indians to the colorful centuries-old traditions of the various dances and Native American crafts; and to educate the POW WOW visitors with storytelling and various demonstrations.

The POW WOW is set up in a circle, a very important symbol to Native Americans. The drums are the heartbeat in the center of the circle. Dancers will dance their style around the circle, and when the master of ceremonies announces a "social" dance, visitors will be invited to join them in the circle to dance.  Dancers dance clockwise around the drum arbor.

The POW WOW begins with the grand entry, a parade of dancers, led into the circle by flags with the American flag always carried by a Native American Veteran. After grand entry song, a flag song will follow, then an invocation blessing the gathering, posting of the colors, and then the POW WOW dancing begins.

- http://www.shadowwolf.org/what_is_a_pow_wow.html