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Honor Dance: Celebrates accomplishments in MSU’s new century

On April 24, Minot State University’s Dome will come alive with tradition, color and movement. Native American dancers and drum groups from throughout North Dakota and neighboring states and provinces will compete during the 26th annual Native American Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration April 24-25. One thousand to 1,500 people attend annually; the event includes the acknowledgement of achievements, competitive dancing, vendor and information booths and food. The powwow is one of the largest student activities on campus.

This event, sponsored by the Native American Cultural Awareness Club and the university, will honor all 2015 graduates. Typically, an average of 19 Native American students graduate from MSU each year.

“Graduations and powwows have a lot of similarities. Both recognize accomplishments, dedication and hard work,” said Annette Mennem, Native American Center director and NACAC advisor. “We will celebrate the Class of 2015 April 24 and 25 and wish its members good luck in their future endeavors.”

On April 24 at 10:30 a.m., the Turtle Mountain Community College Anishinabe Club and JT Shining Oneside will give a cultural presentation.

To honor the graduates and their families, a buffalo meal will be served April 25 in the Student Center at 5 p.m. The Standing Rock Sioux Game and Fish Department donated the buffalo.

Both days feature performances, dance competitions and the sale of Native American arts, crafts and food. The activities start at 10 a.m. on April 24 and at 1 p.m. on April 25. Two "Grand Entries," the time when all of the dancers enter the arena, are scheduled for 1 and 7 p.m. each day.

Charles Moran, Mandaree, will be the emcee, while Russell Young Bird will be the arena director with Little Shell Singers as the host drum group.

Following the 7 p.m. Grand Entry on April 25, Steven Shirley, MSU’s new president, will be

introduced. A special honoring will commemorate Vice President for Student Affairs Dick Jenkins’ service to MSU and Native American students. Jenkins retires June 30 after being at MSU for 31 years.

The "Honor Parade," in which all 2015 MSU graduates are invited to participate, follows the honoring of Jenkins on April 25 at 8 p.m.

Dance competitions will be held for elders, 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

Admission to the Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration is $3 for ages 12-55; it is free to children under 12, elders and MSU students, faculty and staff.

In addition to MSU and the Standing Rock Game and Fish Department, the Three Affiliated Tribes and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, families of club members and Visit Minot provided support for the event.

For more information, contact Mennem, at 858-3365 or





Published: 04/17/15

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