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Warriors honored on powwow poster
11 July 2006

BISMARCK (UTN) - A painting of a tribal serviceman returning to his culture from military duty is the image that represents the 37th Annual United Tribes International Powwow in 2006.

      "I Have Returned" is the work of the late Alden Archambault Jr. (Hunkpapa Lakota). The watercolor design appears on posters that promote the powwow, which takes place September 7 - 10 in Bismarck.

I Have Returned
"I Have Returned," a watercolor by the late Alden Archambault Jr., is the image on the 2006 United Tribes International Powwow poster. Click the image to view a larger version in a seperate window.

      At the center of the image is a serviceman in military uniform who represents those from tribal families and communities who have served for generations with courage, bravery and fortitude, wrote Eunice Archambault, the artist's widow, describing the watercolor.

      Emerging from the center in tribal regalia, the decorated warrior returns to his family and community, dances at the powwow and strengthens the circle of life, she wrote.

      According to the Department of Defense, American Indians have served with distinction in U. S. military actions for over 200 years. Based on percentage of the total population, more Native American men and women serve in the military than any other ethnic group.

      "As a people, we have always felt gratitude and respect for their courage and sacrifice in defense of the land and the people," said David M. Gipp, United Tribes Technical College president. "With this piece of artwork we are further emphasizing the honor that we express for our veterans during the powwow."

      As one of the best known contest powwows in the country, the United Tribes International Powwow typically attracts over 1,000 dancers and more than two-dozen singing groups, and upwards of 15,000 spectators, to the campus of United Tribes Technical College.

Alden Archambault Jr.
Artist Alden Archambault Jr.

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

      The powwow concludes with awards for champion dancers and drum groups on Sunday evening, September 10. All first place winners receive Jackets, trophies and cash. The first 25 drums are paid; tiny tot dancers earn day money.

      A $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.

      Held annually since 1969, the four-day event is the last of the large outdoor powwows on the Northern Plains during the summer season.

      "I Have Returned" is the fifth piece of Archambault's work to represent the UTTC powwow, the most by any single artist in the powwow's 37-year history. His images were also used in 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2004.

      Archambault, who passed away in December 2005, lived in the Bear Soldier Community at McLaughlin, South Dakota; he was an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a Vietnam era veteran. He earned the Lakota name "Mahto Hoksila" (Bear Boy). He was a professional artist who, in addition to drawing and painting, was proficient in a variety of cultural art forms: beadwork, quillwork, and leather work.

      Archambault received formal education at Eastern Montana College, Billings, Montana, where he majored in art and minored in history. His studies included drawing, oil painting, and sculpture along with watercolor and print making.

      During his 20 year career as an artist, Archambault won many juried art shows across the northern plains, including the Great Falls Native American Art Show of Montana; Northern Plains Tribal Arts, Sioux Falls, SD; and the United Tribes International Powwow Art Show.

      He received commissions for many private and corporate collections across the United States and several foreign countries.

      He treasured being recognized locally and was especially honored to have his work selected for the United Tribes International Powwow poster.

      The original "I Have Returned" watercolor goes into UTTC's collection of American Indian art, some of which is on display at the college's cultural interpretive center.

      For more information call 701-255-3285 ext. 1293, FAX 701-530-0633, or visit www.uttc.edu on the World Wide Web.


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