Pace's Bobby DuBose didn't realize he was learning anything special until he went to school near McDavid at Byrnville Elementary.



DuBose found something at the elementary school as quite a surprise.



"When I started going to Byrnville Elementary School using a toilet and a urinal was a culture shock to me," said DuBose, who will be one of the dancers and participants at the Creek Indian Pow Wow this weekend at Floridatown Park. "We didn't have an inside bathroom till I was in the 8th grade."



If that wasn't enough, the fear created by former U.S. President Andrew Jackson was still alive and well in the mind of DuBose's "Pa."



Back in May of 1830 Jackson introduced the Indian Removal Act to move Native American Tribes to land west of the Mississippi. During this process many Creek Indians and other tribes native to the area moved deep into the woods and tried to assimilate themselves rather than being forced to walk what was known as the Trail of Tears.



"I was told never to mention my Indian blood," DuBose recalled. "Pa would teach me things and we would walk in the woods and he would explain things like how to use spider webs to stop bleeding from a cut.



"He would teach me about animals, birds, and life in general."



Despite the warnings, DuBose let the excitement of his youth talk about what he had learned which brought some chuckles from his classmates.



"I began to see the way people who were different were treated so I tried to be 'normal'," DuBose said. "That included listening to my Grandfather and staying out of the sun so my skin wasn't so red."



Now that DuBose is older, he and his family not only embrace their Native American roots, but also proudly display them at events like this weekend's Floridatown Pow Wow.



"A pow wow weekend for us is a time when we get to see many friends and relatives," DuBose said. "People who travel and either dance, vend, tell stories, and teach all become close.



"We look forward to the spring and fall when the temperatures allow us to have more pow wow's or gatherings. We use the off-season to build sew and build new regalia."



Regalia is the clothes they wear to celebrate their dances at the pow wow.



This year’s pow wow will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.



The 22nd annual event will feature the Spirit Warrior Dancers, Drums of the Descendants, Native American dancing, arts, crafts, Native American foods, Native American story telling, as well as a Native American Heritage Display.



Some Native Americans speak of the Great Spirit who talks to them in a dream, well for DuBose it happened that way as well.



"I actually had a dream that woke me up," DuBose recalled. "I realized who I was and that there were things that needed to be done, or at least things I had to try to do.



"To learn about your culture the best way is to speak with the elders in your family."



DuBose has fallen in love with genealogy this way.



Get them to tell you stories from when they were younger, DuBose said. "Have them write things down and tell you who their parents were and their parents."



While DuBose is learning about his past, he is also involved in the future as the Co-Chair and member of the Florida American Indian Health Advisory Council.



"I was overwhelmed when they asked me to be a part of it several years ago," DuBose said. "We have worked with many other health care professionals and health department offices out of Tallahassee and do our best to get information out to the Native American public.



"So many don't realize how common diabetes, high blood pressure, and alcoholism are for example. The council is a way for us to make noise about our people and try to get help to those that don't trust as easily."



While trust is a factor for DuBose, so is family and when you seen one member you seen the entire group - Bobby's wife Sandy and their children Bobby and Steven.



"My family embracing who they are makes me the proudest husband or father there is," DuBose said. "We are all individuals, but our heritage is the common thread.



"I guess we're a throw-back family to the way it use to be. It strengthens and holds us together."