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United Tribes declines to increase fee
Powwow admission to remain the same
30 June 2008

BISMARCK (UTN) The cost to attend the United Tribes powwow will not be going up in 2008, the way other things are in the economy.

      The United Tribes Powwow Committee has declined to increase the $15 entrance fee for one of the longest running contest powwows in the country.

Medicine Journey
The art work, "Medicine Journey," by Darwin Cabaniss Tsoodle (Kiowa-Kiowa Apache), is the image on the 2008 United Tribes International Powwow poster. The work also adorns wearable and collectible items. Tsoodle lives and works in Anadarko, Oklahoma.

      "People should be able to look forward to attending the powwow," said David M. Gipp, United Tribes Technical College president. "With costs rising for almost everything, lots of people are already making hard choices. The powwow is a celebration of culture that shouldn't have to be crossed off the list."

      Known as "Home of the Champions," the United Tribes International Powwow takes place the weekend after Labor Day, September 4 7 on the campus of United Tribes Technical College. It has been held annually since 1969. The event offers $80,000 in prize money for dancers and drum groups, and a vibrant display of American Indian culture for spectators.

      The current entrance fee has been the same since 2002. Although costs have been rising, the college does not charge any fees for camping or for a free buffalo meal on the closing day of the event.

      "We know that people will be looking to hold down their costs this year by camping at the powwow," said Gipp. "The camp is part of what makes this gathering reminiscent of large tribal gatherings in the past. We're happy to offer the space."

United Tribes International Powwow Head Staff
  Announcers: Jerry Dearly, MN; Jonathan Windy Boy, MT
  Head Woman Judge: Mia Spoonhunter, MT
  Head Man Judge: Rusty Gillette, ND
  Singing Judge: Andy DeMarce, ND
  Arena Director: Michael Roberts, OK
  Ground Blessing: Marcel Bull Bear, SD

      United Tribes is the last of the large outdoor powwows on the Northern Plains at the end of the summer season. In recent years it has attracted upwards of 800 dancers, and more than two-dozen drum groups.

      The event was recognized in early 2008 with a North Dakota Governor's International Tourism Award and is listed by numerous travel groups as a top event in the country.


      The powwow begins with the first Grand Entry of dancers at Lone Star Arena, in the center of campus, on Thursday, September 4 at 7 p.m. Subsequent Grand Entries are held Friday through Sunday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Central Time).

      It concludes with awards for champion dancers and drum groups on Sunday evening, September 7, following a free buffalo meal for all dancers, singers and visitors. All first place winners receive Jackets, gold medals and cash. Second through fifth place winners receive medals and cash. The first 25 drums are paid; tiny tot dancers earn day money.

United Tribes Powwow Committee
Co-Chair Tom Red Bird, Co-Chair Karen Paetz, Secretary Debbie Painte, Adviser Dr. Harriett Skye, Shannon Medicine Horse, Jen Janecek-Hartman, Sandy Erickson, Bud Anderson, Red Koch, James Red Tomahawk, Scott Davis, Lorraine Davis, Bernard Strikes Enemy, Francis Azure.

      The $15 entrance fee guarantees admission to all dance and drum competitions for the entire four days. Daily admission is $8. Elders (60 and over) and children (5 and under) enter free.

Powwow Poster

      The art work, "Medicine Journey," by traditional painter Darwin Cabaniss Tsoodle (Kiowa-Kiowa Apache), is featured on the powwow poster. The work also adorns wearable and collectible items available at the powwow and online. "Medicine Journey" is Tsoodle's first work to be selected to promote the powwow. The original is part of the UTTC collection of American Indian art.

Keeble Honoring

      Tribal veterans groups are especially welcome at this year's United Tribes Powwow. They are invited to take part in a special honoring for Master Sgt. Woodrow Keeble (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor earlier this year for his heroism during the Korean War.

Cultural Group

      The 2008 featured performers are from the Sami culture. Ante Mikkel Gaup and his daughters Sara Marielle and Lena Susanne represent the culture of indigenous European people. Like Native Americans, they were pushed to the margins of their society and now live in the northern part of Norway, Sweden, Finland and western Russia where they continue to live close to nature cultivating herds of Reindeer.

      Sami performances are set for 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, September 5 and 6 and a 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 7 in Lone Star Arena, the powwow dance arbor in the center of the college campus. The group will also perform during Youth Day on Friday morning, September 5 and will appear in the powwow grand entries at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Miss Indian Nations

      Young American Indian women who know their culture will participate in the Miss Indian Nations scholarship pageant. The 16th annual event is set for September 3 to 6 during the powwow. The event is a scholarship program for single, non-parent American Indian women between age 17 and 25 who can demonstrate their command of tribal values, customs and teachings. Top participants receive awards and scholarships and the chance to become a cultural ambassador for a year.

Youth Day

      School classes and groups are invited to Youth Day at the powwow. The music and cultural event is a learning opportunity about Native culture. Included are presentations, music, dancing, and a performance by the powwow's featured cultural group. Youth Day begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 5 and runs through the morning near the college administration building. Those who arrive as a school group are welcome free of charge.

Parade of Champions

      The United Tribes "Parade of Champions," is scheduled for Saturday, September 6 through downtown Bismarck. The event features dancers, singers, tribal groups attending the powwow, tribal leaders, Miss Indian Nations participants and groups from the community. Cash prizes are awarded in four categories of judging. The event is staged at the State Capitol grounds.

Intertribal Summit

      The twelfth annual United Tribes Intertribal Council Summit meeting takes place September 3-4, prior to the start of the powwow, at the Bismarck Civic Center. The gathering is about current issues in Indian Country. It is attended by tribal, federal and state officials, and also includes a trade fair.

Sports Events

      Two sporting events associated with the powwow are an open golf tournament on Thursday, September 4 at Apple Creek Country Club that benefits scholarships for United Tribes students, and a softball tournament September 6-7 for both women and men's teams.

More Information

      For more information about the powwow and associated events contact Sandy Erickson, serickson@uttc.edu, 701-255-3285 x 1293, FAX 701-530-0633, or visit www.uttc.edu or www.unitedtribespowwow.com.


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