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MSU Honor Dance: Celebrates accomplishments

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 28th annual Native American Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration April 28-29. More than 1,000 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, the Native American Center and the university, will honor all 2017 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 2017 April 28 and 29 and wish its members good luck in their future endeavors.”

Competition registration starts both days at 10 a.m. Food booths open at 11 a.m. along with dance competitions and the sale of Native American arts and crafts. 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 and Wade Baker is the arena director, with SloughFoot as the host drum group. Myron B. Johnson/Nathan J. Goodiron Post 271, Mandaree, will be the honor guard.

Following the 1 p.m. Grand Entry on April 28, NACAC will present a buffalo hide painting depicting the coming together of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation to Mark Fox, Three Affiliated Tribes chairman. Shantelle Carey, an art major, is currently painting on it as part of her senior capstone project.

“I'm excited,” Carey said. "I did a mural for my high school, but I've never done anything this big that I had to move. The hide is nine feet tall, and it will take three people to move it.”

The hide will be painted left to right in story format showing the three tribes uniting. The painting will include the Souris River as a main theme, as all three tribes used to camp along it. Carey would also like to include the symbol of the Native American Cultural Club in the painting.

Following the 1 p.m. Grand Entry on April 29, NACAC will honor Nelrene Yellowbird, social work assistant professor, for her dedication to NACAC and the Native American Center. Yellowbird will retire this spring.

To honor the graduates and their families, a buffalo meal will be served April 29 in Buckshots on the lower level of the Student Center at 5 p.m. The Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Tribal Ranch/Buffalo Project donated the buffalo. The meal is free to the public.

The Honor Parade, in which all 2017 MSU graduates are invited to participate, follows the Grand Entry on April 29 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, the Three Affiliated Tribes provided support for the event.

For more information go to the 2017 powwow poster at For questions, contact Mennem, at 858-3365 or



Published: 04/13/17

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