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Honor Dance: Accomplishments and reconnecting

Native American dancers and drum groups from throughout North Dakota and neighboring states and provinces will compete during the 23rd annual Native American Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration at the Minot State University Dome April 27-28. One thousand to 1,500 people attend annually; anyone can dance, and they do not have to wear regalia. The powwow is one of the largest student activities on campus.

"Minot State University's powwow has become part of the 'powwow trail.' People come from all over to our Native American Spring Honor Dance and Powwow," said Clifford Klimpel, an MSU junior and 2012 powwow chair. "It's a time everyone gets together and sees people they haven't seen in a while. It's family time."

This event, sponsored by the Native American Cultural Awareness Club and the university, will honor all 2012 graduates. Fifteen Native American students are graduating from MSU this year.

Both days feature performances, dance competitions and the sale of Native American arts, crafts and food. The activities start at 10 a.m. 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 2012 MSU graduates are invited to participate, follows the 7 p.m. Grand Entry on April 28.

"In Indian Country when someone achieves something in their life, it is customary to honor that person. That's what Minot State and the Native American Cultural Awareness Club does every year by holding this two-day event. It is meant to bring graduates and their families and friends and MSU faculty and staff together to celebrate and honor the graduates' accomplishments," said Annette Mennem, Native American Center director.

"The powwow chair gets the powwow up and running and ensures that everything runs smoothly," Klimpel said about his duties. Other Powwow Committee members are Macey Tandeski, vice president; Miranda Grant, secretary; and Brandy Allard, treasurer.

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.

To further honor the graduates and their families, a buffalo meal with all the trimmings will be served April 27 in the Student Center at 5 p.m. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe donated the buffalo.

Admission to the Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration is $2 for ages 12-55; it is free to children under 12, senior citizens and MSU students, faculty and staff.

In addition to MSU and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, where Klimpel is enrolled, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa provided support for the event.

For more information, contact Mennem, at 858-3365 or annette.mennem@minotstateu.edu.