Families from around the region annually attend the powwow at MSU Billings.
44th Annual MSUB Powwow set for this weekend at Alterowitz Gym
Dancing, contests and vendors will be in full display April 13-14
Reno Charette, Director, American Indian Outreach and Diversity — 657-2144
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — The pageantry of the 44th annual Montana State University Billings Powwow will commence Friday, April 13 at 6 p.m. and continue through Saturday, April 14. Tribes from around Montana will gather at Alterowitz Gymnasium to join in dancing, singing, and visiting while renewing old friendships and making new ones.
Entrance is free, but special powwow calendars, T-shirts and other items will be sold to help fund projects and scholarships through the American Indian Outreach and Diversity Center at MSU Billings. Vendors from across the region will also be on hand in the main floor with a variety of American Indian items for sale. There will also be a boys high school basketball tournament in association with the powwow. The first game is Friday at 4 p.m. and continues Saturday at 8 a.m. Admission for basketball games only is $2.
Powwows across the country strive to renew the culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians, said Reno Charette, Director of American Indian Outreach at MSU Billings. Students, faculty and staff have joined efforts to make this powwow one of the biggest student-led American Indian events in the Northwest.
Grand entry is set for Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon. The grand entries will be led by dignitaries from throughout the area. Head Woman Dancer is MSU Billings student Désja Eagle Tail, a Crow Indian. The Head Man Dancer is Kasey Nicholson, an MSUB Alumnus, and White Clay Indian. Head Gourd Dancer is Kaleb Sooktis, a Lockwood Elementary student and Northern Cheyenne Indian.
The Arena Director is Delon Rock Above, Crow, and the announcer is Ray Champ, an MSU Billings Student and Crow Indian.
The schedule for the two days follows:
Friday, April 13
- 6:00 p.m.: Grand Entry (Billings Marine Corps League presenting colors and the MSUB men’s basketball team and women’s soccer teams will be presenting tribal and military flags)
- Plains Indian Sign Language class instructed by Ron Garritson will sign a welcome to the audience
- 6:30 p.m.: Honor Song for MSUB Men’s Basketball Team for winning their recent championship
- 6:45 p.m.: Intertribal Dances
- 7:00 p.m.: Tiny Tots sponsored by Kim Campbell
- 7:15 p.m.: First Dance Ceremony for Darcy Merchant Jr. sponsored by his father, MSUB Alumni Darcy Merchant Sr.
- 7:30 p.m.: Junior Boys & Girls Contests
- 8:30 p.m.: Teen Boys & Girls Contests
- 9:00 p.m.: Round Dance for all MSUB students
- 9:15 p.m.: Golden Age Men’s and Women’s Contests
- 9:45 p.m.: Adult Men’s and Women’s Contests
- 10:45 p.m.: 2012 MSUB Ambassador Contestants dance competition
- 11:30 p.m.: Closing song and retire the colors
Saturday, April 14
Noon: Grand Entry (Billings Marine Corps League presenting colors, MSUB students and local veterans invited to carry tribal and military flags)
Plains Indian Sign Language class instructed by Ron Garritson will sign a welcome to the audience
- 12:30 p.m.: Honor Song for all EMC/MSUB alumni
- 1:00 p.m.: Tiny Tots contest sponsored by 2012 MSUB Welding and Fabrication graduate Victor Stead and his son, Kyan Stead, graduate of the William R. Lowe Childcare and Enrichment Center
- 1:30 p.m.: Junior Boys and Girls Contests Trixy Phelan 2012 MSUB Accounting College of Business graduate sponsoring Junior Girls Traditional Dance Contest in honor of her graduation. Crow Tribal Legislator, Senator Bryce Hugs is sponsoring the Junior Boys Traditional Dance Contest
- 2:30 p.m.: Teen Boys and Girls Contests. Hunter Rose Sings Loparco, 2011/12 Billings Senior High Indian Princess is sponsoring the Teen Girls Traditional Dance Contest
- 2:45 p.m.: Melissa Holds the Enemy, MSUB alumni, Honor Song and Give Away to commemorate her awards earned in law school.
- 3:00 p.m.: Intertribal dancing
- 3:45 p.m.: JanTeesa Fisher, 2011 MSUB Powwow Ambassador sponsoring Teen Team Dance Competition
- 4:00 p.m.: Desjá Eagle Tail, 2012 Head Woman Dancer sponsoring Tiny Tot Push Dance and Owl Dance competition
- 5:00 p.m.: Gourd Dancing
- 6:15 p.m.: Tiny Tot World Championship Competition sponsored by Cleveland Leider, the 2011 Champion and his family
- 7:45 p.m.: Mervel Phelan, 2011 MSUB Powwow Ambassador Honor Song and Give Away
- 8:00 p.m.: Adult dance categories
- 9:30 p.m.: 2012 MSUB Powwow Ambassador winners announced
- 9:45 p.m.: Isaiah Hugs, Intertribal Indian Club President Give Away
- 10:30 p.m.: Dance Contest winners announced
- 11:30 p.m.: Closing Song and retire the colors.
For more information visit www.msubillings.edu/powwow.