The celebration of life and Native American culture is at the heart of the United Tribes International Powwow.
“When I go in there and dance, it’s like I’m floating. It’s just like the songs our so beautiful. You feel the rhythm, the harmony, it’s a beautiful, beautiful experience,” Judy Azure, a jingle dancer at the powwow, said.
That’s what the United Tribes International Powwow is all about.
The singing, the dancing and the food is only part of the annual event.
It’s also an event to meet other tribal members, learn Native American history and teach others about their customs and tradition.
“I still continue to maintain my culture because that is our base of who we are,” said Maddie Goodwill.
And for some it’s a family tradition
“We’ve been doing this for years. My granddaughters are 5th generation jingle dress dancers. That’s what we do. It’s a healing jingle dress dance that we do.”
This is the 47th United Tribes Powwow but this year was different. After request for cancelation and some Native Americans not even wanting to come because the Dakota Access Pipeline issue, Arena Director Rusty Gillette says that made it even more important to continue the celebration.
“To boycott or cancel the things in our communities would be giving others what they want and that’s to not gather as people to not celebrate being here today,” Gillette said.
Gillette said he was disappointed in the court’s decision to allow the pipeline to move forward with construction, but, he said this is just the beginning of a long battle.
The powwow goes through this Sunday with another Grand Entry Saturday from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.