United Tribes News‘Tribes’ powwow to feature Olympian Billy Mills
August 19 2014
BISMARCK (UTN) – The Oglala Lakota athlete who became an Olympic Gold Medalist in his youth, and is today an admired role-model in America, is the honored guest of the 2014 United Tribes International Powwow. Billy Mills is scheduled to attend events throughout the powwow set for September 4-7 at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck. All events of the powwow are open to the public and everyone is invited and welcome.
Mills is famous for his come-from-behind win in the 10,000 Meter Run at the Tokyo Olympics. His thrilling gold medal victory is widely considered one of the greatest moments in Olympic sports history. His story inspired the 1983 Hollywood movie “Running Brave.”
Mills continues to be a source of inspiration and pride for Native people everywhere. He was a First Lieutenant in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserves when he competed in the 1964 Olympics. Now age 76, he lives near Sacramento, CA and continues with speaking tours and public appearances. In 2012 President Obama awarded him a Presidential Citizens Medal for his work with “Running Strong for American Indian Youth,” an organization that benefits Native young people.
Mills will be a guest speaker and sign autographs while attending these events of the powwow: Tribal Leaders Summit keynote, noon, Thursday, September 4, Bismarck Civic Center; Powwow Grand Entry 7 p.m. Thursday, September 4; Youth Day 9 a.m. Friday, September 5; “Diamond Legends” Softball Tournament 5 p.m. Friday, September 5 @ Clem Kelly softball complex; Thunderbird Run Road Race 8 a.m. Saturday, September 6; and “Parade of Champions” 10 a.m. Saturday, September 6.
The powwow begins with the first Grand Entry at Lone Star Arena in the center of campus on Thursday, September 4 at 7 p.m. Subsequent Grand Entries are held Friday and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Central Time), and Sunday at 12 noon.
A $20 entrance fee guarantees admission to all dance and drum competitions for the four days. Daily admission is $12. Seniors (65 and over) and children (5 and under) enter free.
Admission wrist bands may be purchased in advance through August 29 at the college’s Finance Department. Group rates provided for 10 or more. Contact Ella Duran 701-255-3285 x 1214, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camping begins Tuesday, September 2. Space is available free of charge in designated locations on the college campus. Round-the-clock security is provided and access to facilities. No drugs or alcohol allowed and no pets.
United Tribes is a “tobacco free campus.” The college keeps tobacco sacred by allowing its use for ceremonies only. Other uses of tobacco in all forms are prohibited.
The Miss Indian Nations pageant will be absent from the 2014 festivities. The event will take a break while the powwow committee evaluates the future of a leadership program for young Native women.
Known as “Home of the Champions,” the United Tribes International Powwow is the powwow season’s last, large outdoor event on the northern Great Plains powwow circuit. The contest offers over $80,000 in prize money to the top singing groups and dancers in two dozen competitive categories. Cash, jackets and medals are awarded to the champions early Sunday evening, September 7, culminating the event. Day money is provided for drums and tiny tots.
Dance arena at the United Tribes International Powwow
DENNIS J. NEUMANN<>United Tribes News
The United Tribes Powwow Committee selected the work “We Are All Related,” by artist Wallace “Butch” Thunder Hawk Jr. of Standing Rock, as the official image of the 2014 powwow.
Powwow posters are a popular art form. Each year an original work appears on the United Tribes poster.
Thunder Hawk’s design depicts a Native couple flanked by four pairs of sacred animals central to his Lakota/Dakota culture: the horse, eagle, elk and buffalo. Two dragonflies hover overhead and a Native flute is part of the natural scene, along with the sun, clouds and sky rendered in bright hues.
“We Are All Related” by artist Wallace “Butch” Thunder Hawk Jr. is the 2014 poster image for the United Tribes International Powwow.
Thunder Hawk has instructed tribal art at United Tribes since 1973. He created this piece to illustrate the Lakota phrase, “Mitakuye Oyasin,” and show the inclusive nature of Native thinking.
“It shows that all people are related too,” he says. “No matter what color we are, white, black, yellow or red, we have the same creator.”
He hopes it will improve understanding about Native People and even send a message to care for the environment.
“It came to me to create an image to show how we are connected to Mother Earth, the universe and each other,” says the artist. “I didn’t have any idea this would be a poster for the powwow. It’s just something I did. All my things come from the heart.”
“We Are All Related” is a new work, completed in late 2013. The original is acrylic paint on canvas and measures three feet by three feet. The powwow committee secured rights to use the image on the poster and wearable and collectible items for the event.
“Butch” Thunder Hawk
Thunder Hawk has supplied artwork for previous powwows: a ledger design in 2011 and others in the 1970s and early ‘80s when United Tribes hosted more than one powwow each year. His designs have also been used for other powwows, including the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, NM.
Powwow posters are considered a window into Native themes and values. “They’re collector items,” says Thunder Hawk, who will be signing posters at the powwow. “You don’t get the original but you get the design for free because the posters are given away.”
The powwow committee also adopted “We Are All Related” as the overall theme of the four-day event now about to celebrate its 45th year. Providing the action will be upwards of 1,000 participants from the northern Plains and around the country.
Playing a central role in every powwow are those who answered the call to duty. Military veterans and active duty personnel who represent the college’s governing tribes in North Dakota continue their service by presenting and posting the Colors during all powwow grand entries.
Contact: Mike Iken 701-255-3285 x 1277, email@example.com
POWWOW VENDOR FAIR
Surrounding the dance arbor is a ring of powwow circuit vendors, creating a lively atmosphere and catering to the needs of smart shoppers. Everything can be found from hides and antlers, to beads, finished clothing, bumper and window stickers and powwow collectibles. A food court presents a wide variety of cuisine, from oriental and barbeque to the ever-popular ‘Indian Taco.’
Craft Vendors Contact: Bernard Strikes Enemy 701-255-3285 x 1302; Food Vendors Contact: Robert Fox 701-255-3285 x 1384, firstname.lastname@example.org; vendor application online: www.unitedtribespowwow.com/contact.asp.
School classes and school groups (K-8) are invited to Youth Day at the Powwow. It is a music and cultural event that entertains. Included are presentations, music, tribal dance and audience participation. Youth Day begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 5 and runs through the morning. Chaperoned school groups admitted free.
Contact: Shiela Netterville 701-255-3285 x 1546 email@example.com.
PARADE OF CHAMPIONS
The United Tribes “Parade of Champions,” is scheduled for Saturday, September 6 through downtown Bismarck, using the powwow theme: “We Are All Related.” It features dancers, singers, tribal groups, tribal leaders and community groups. Cash prizes are awarded in four categories: Best Overall Float, Best Youth or Culture Group, Best Horse Group, and Best Drum Group. Views expressed by entries or individuals in the parade are not necessarily those of the powwow committee or United Tribes Technical College.
Contact: Jessica Stewart 701-255-3285 x 1104, firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRIBAL LEADERS SUMMIT
Immediately prior to the powwow, the Eighteenth Annual United Tribes Tribal Leaders Summit takes place September 3-5 at the Bismarck Civic Center. Tribal, federal and state officials discuss important Indian Country issues and share ideas; also includes a trade fair. Billy Mills will keynote the event during a noon luncheon Thursday, September 4.
Contact: Janet Thomas 701-255-3285 x 1431, email@example.com
“Teeing Off for Academic Excellence” on Friday, September 5 is a benefit tourney at Apple Creek Country Club; proceeds go to student scholarships.
Contact: Sam Azure 701-255-3285 x 1305, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Hunter Berg 701-255-3285 x 1361, email@example.com
In 2014 the United Tribes softball tournament will be combined with an All-Indian National event called the “Diamond Legends” Softball Tournament. The event is expected to attract 50-to-60 teams of players and spectators from around the country.
Five divisions are offered during the September 5-7 tournament at the Clem Kelly Softball complex in Bismarck. The event is double elimination for both women’s teams and men’s teams. Divisions D and lower are open to both Native and non-Native athletes.
Contact: Steve Shepherd 701-255-3285 x 1537, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Joey McLeod 701-255-3285 x 1520, email@example.com.
THUNDERBIRD POWWOW RUN
A 10K and 5K run/walk is hosted for runners and walkers of all ages on Saturday, September 6. Online and on-site registration.
Contact: Dan Molnar 701-255-3285 x 1367, firstname.lastname@example.org
United Tribes honors you with the cultural tradition of a buffalo feed Sunday, September 7. All dancers, singers and visitors are invited free of charge. Serving takes place in the mid-to-late afternoon outside the United Tribes Cafeteria; serving time is announced. The meal is served by the college cafeteria staff and many student and staff volunteers. The buffalo is courtesy of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, one of the college’s governing tribes.
POWWOW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Phil Baird, UTTC Interim President; Julie Cain, Chair/Cultural Advisor; Ella Duran, Treasurer; Deb Painte, Secretary; Charisse Fandrich, Fundraising.
COLLEGE GOVERNING TRIBES
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Spirit Lake Tribe, Standing Rock Tribe, Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
Powwow: Sandy Erickson, email@example.com, 701-255-3285 x 1293
Media: Dennis J. Neumann, firstname.lastname@example.org, 701-255-3285 x 1386
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