MSU hosting Native American Honor Dance and Powwow
Native American dancers and drum groups from throughout North Dakota and neighboring states and provinces will compete during the 20th annual Native American Spring Honor Dance and Powwow, at the Minot State University Dome, Friday and Saturday (April 24-25). The celebration will also include special Native American attractions.
This event, sponsored by the MSU Native American Cultural Awareness Club and the university, will honor all 2009 graduates. Two "Grand Entries," the time when all of the dancers enter the arena, are scheduled for 1 and 7 p.m. each day. The "Honor Parade," in which all 2009 graduates are invited to participate, follows the 7 p.m. Grand Entry on Saturday (April 25).
"The Native American Cultural Awareness Club is honored to have the opportunity to host this cultural event and honor our university graduates," said Donovan Lambert, president of the NACA Club and a senior corporate-fitness major.
Dance competitions will be held for men, women, teens, juniors and "tiny tots." The competition for men includes traditional, grass and fancy dancing. Women's dance competitions include traditional, fancy and jingle styles. Cash prizes will be awarded. Dance specials include a womenís jingle-dress competition in honor of Cassi Rensch. Rensch, a Minot State student, died in an automobile accident in July 2008. She was an active member of the NACA Club.
Drum money will be awarded to the first 10 drums. The host drum group is Spirit Lake Nation from Fort Totten.
The celebration offers educational presentations including Native American traditional games by Marvin Bald Eagle Young Man, Native American storytelling by Greg Holy Bull, a Native American fancy dance presentation by Jeremiah Holy Bull, a teepee display by the NACA Club and a Spirit Lake Nation drum-group performance of songs for student participation.
Schools and organizations are invited to bring school-age children to these educational presentations on Friday (April 24) from 10 a.m. to noon. Also, on Friday at 5 p.m. in the Student Center, a traditional buffalo meal will be provided by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation and the Spirit Lake Nation. At 8 p.m., Bill Miller, an internationally known recording artist, performer, songwriter and flute player, will perform in concert in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall.
Over the past four years, Miller has produced two albums, received Grammy Awards and led Wisconsinís La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. He has won two Grammys for Best Native American Music Album as well as receiving seven different Native American Music Awards. The most recent was an NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award.
The doors open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday (April 24) for the educational presentations and at 11 a.m. on Saturday (April 25) with performances, demonstrations, dance competitions and the sale of Native American arts, crafts and food.
"MSU is proud to host a traditional Native American cultural event that promotes understanding and appreciation of Native peoples," said Wylie Hammond, director of multicultural support services and the Native American Cultural Center.
Admission to the Spring Honor Dance is $3 for ages 12-55; it is free to children under 12, senior citizens and MSU students, faculty and staff.
For more information, contact Lambert or Hammond at (701) 858-3365 or 1-800-777-0750, ext. 3365.