The 28th annual Woodlands and High Plains Powwow is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, at Nemzek Fieldhouse on the Minnesota State University Moorhead campus. The theme is “Mni Wiconi (Water is Life): Standing Together.” The powwow is sponsored by NDSU, MSUM, Concordia College and Minnesota State Community and Technical College Moorhead.
Grand entries are set for 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and a meal is scheduled during the 5 p.m. break. The doors open to the public at 12:30 p.m.
“The powwow is a magnificent display of culture preservation, knowledge sharing and a beautiful expression of life,” explained Jered Pigeon, program coordinator in the NDSU Office of Multicultural Programs. “The drum, for me, is the heart of the powwow – symbolically being the heartbeat of Mother Earth. Some even say that the drum has the power to change natural elements in life, such as the weather. It is also believed by many that the drum has the power to heal and send messages to the spirit world.”
A traditional powwow celebrates friendships, and shares the educational experiences of American Indian students in higher education and the tribal cultures in the Fargo-Moorhead area. It will feature many styles of dance and drum songs from regional tribes, and vendors will display and sell their wares.
This year’s head male dancer is Jacob Walker-Swaney, a member of the Potawatomi/Shawnee from Kalamazoo, Michigan, who is pursuing a Master of Public Health and doctorate in conservation biology at NDSU. The head female dancer will be Winona Goodthunder, member of the Lower Sioux Community.
The event’s emcee will be Ricky White, member of Whitefish Bay First Nation in Ontario, Canada, and the arena director is Tom Mason, member of Rainy River First Nations Band of Ojibwe in Ontario, Canada. The spiritual adviser is Laidman “JR” Fox, Spirit Lake Nation and the host drum will be Eyabay of Red Lake, Minnesota. The honor guard is from the White Earth Nation in Minnesota.
In addition, the MSUM American Indian Student Association is set to host the third annual Hand Games Intertribal Style Tournament. The hand game is a Native American guessing game played by two teams with sticks and bones. Using hand signals, each team will take turns either “hiding” the bones or “guessing” who may be holding the bones.
Admission for children five and under is free; youth ages six to 18 is $3; adults 19 to 54 is $5; and adults 55 and over is $3. Students from Concordia College, M State, MSUM and NDSU are admitted free with a valid student ID.
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