UTTC Group Dances for Inaugural Parade

Feb 15th, 1997 | By | Category: 8-4: Racism, Tribal College News

UTTC dance group members include (left to right, back row) Jashaun Iron, Russell Gillette, Julie Cain, Sandra Poitra, Sonja Cain, and Ella Many Bears. Front row Vince Schanandore, Kyle Loudner, Veldon St. John, and LeRoi Laundreaux.

The United Tribes Technical College sent its American Indian Singing and Dance group to the 53rd U.S. Presidential Inaugural Parade honoring President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

The delegation, which was the only one selected to represent the state of North Dakota, included 21 college students, UTTC’s elementary school students, staff, and community members, according to College Parade Coordinator Sandra A. Poitra. A total of only 20 groups in the nation were selected to participate in the parade, according to Poitra. Sen. Byron Dorgan was a nominator of the United Tribes group. Donations were collected for the expenses of the UTTC delegation, who traveled by bus for over 35 hours to reach Washington from Bismarck, North Dakota.

The age span ranged from 10-year-old Kyle Loudner (Fort Thompson Dakota) to Russell Gillette, an Arikara in his mid-sixties who directs the College Chemical Health Center. The college has its own day care centers and elementary school serving 220 children.

They danced to a special tribal song made for President Clinton by the Cannon Ball Singers of North Dakota. Dancers performed men’s and women’s traditional dances, men’s grass dances, and women’s fancy and jingle dress dances.

United Tribes was established 28 years ago by the five North Dakota tribes. David M. Gipp is the president.

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