All are welcome to attend annual powwow Nov. 4 and 5
American Indians from a dozen Midwestern states, both coasts, and Canada will gather for two days of dancing, singing and socializing at the 14th annual powwow at the University of St. Thomas Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4.
People of all races and cultures are welcome to join the festivities; in all, about 4,500 participants are expected to attend.
This year the university also is sponsoring number of cultural events in October and November that explore American Indian mythic traditions. The events are part of St. Tahomas’ 23rd annual Sacred Arts Festival.
All events will be held on the university’s St. Paul campus.
The powwow, which will be held in the Coughlan Field House, will be divided into three sessions, each beginning with a grand entry. The first session runs from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the second runs from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, and the third runs from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $6 each day of the powwow, or $10 for the weekend. Those under 8 and over 60 are admitted free.
Some 250 to 275 dancers and 15 drum groups, each with six to eight singers, are expected to compete for $22,000 in prize money. A hand-drum contest also is planned.
Explanations of the dances and drumming will be given throughout the powwow. Dancers will compete in a variety of categories, and there will be a special exhibition division for youngsters 8 and younger.
Participants from all tribes, nations and colors (that means everyone) will be welcomed to join the intertribal dances, which do not require traditional dress or previous experience.
Arena director for the powwow will be Ron GoodEagle, a Comanche-Osage from Flandreau, S.D. Terry Fiddler of Eagle Butte, S.D., and a Cheyenne River Sioux, will be master of ceremonies. The head dance judge will be Leon Thompson, a Yakima-Nez Perce from Satus, Wash., and head singing judge will be Gabe Desrosiers, an Ojibway from Lake of the Woods, Ontario. The Northern Wind drum group from Lake of the Woods, Ontario, winner of the 2000 drum competition, will be the host drum group.
American Indian art and craft items will be on sale at about 30 booths in the field house. Foods, including traditional fare such as fry bread, wild rice casserole and corn soup, will be available next door in the second-floor student dining room of Murray-Herrick Campus Center.
The powwow is sponsored by St. Thomas. For more information, call the university at (651) 962-5920. Information also is available on the Web at
• Pre-powwow event — To help make the powwow more understandable and enjoyable, a pre-powwow event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in Room 126 (auditorium) of the John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.
The informal event will include explanations of music, dancing and traditional dress, footage from previous powwows, and American Indian foods to sample.
The pre-powwow event is co-sponsored by the university’s Dean of Student Life Office, Department of Communication and Luann Dummer Center for Women.
The following events, which are part of the university’s Sacred Arts Festival, are free and open to the public. Like the powwow, these events will be held on the university’s St. Paul campus. For more information, call numbers listed for individual events or (651) 962-6560. Information also is available on the main St. Thomas Web page, www.stthomas.edu, by clicking the Sacred Arts Festival button.