Indians are returning to their ancient holy land in the Garden of the Gods on Saturday for their first traditional powwow there in 32 years.
They were run out of the park in 1978 by the city after their annual cultural celebration attracted large crowds and caused trampled grass, damaged plants and noise, the city said.
Worse, the city claimed neighbors were upset at the drumming during the powwow.
The Indians, whose presence in the garden is traced back 3,400 years, were told to find a new home for their annual, day-long events.
In subsequent years, they were relegated to rodeo grounds, community centers and gymnasiums — barred from the place they consider their spiritual hub.
They’ve spent more time protesting in the Garden than celebrating their culture, dancing and praying in gratitude.
In the 1990s, Indians became upset about the commercial exploitation of the Garden. Some objected to Indians who danced for tourists. Others were upset at Indian trinkets and souvenirs sold in the park.
Then came the controversy over construction of a new visitors center.
On Saturday, the Colorado Springs Indian Center is sponsoring a powwow that is expected to draw a large crowd to the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site in the park.
It starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.
It will feature traditional dancers, craft vendors, fried bread.