United Tribes’ Powwow a Success

Sep 30th, 2014 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive
By Dennis Neumann

Photo by Greg Pollert

Beautiful powwow weather, world class guests and top quality competition highlighted the 45th annual United Tribes International Powwow. The gathering, held September 4-7 at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota, featured contestants from 70 different tribes and 14 states and Canadian provinces.

A celebration of Native horse culture was featured in a tribal horse-song drum contest. The powwow theme, “We Are All Related,” was universally embraced by participants and visitors. Distinguished visitors to the event included Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota), former vice presidential Green Party candidate Winona LaDuke (White Earth Anishinaabe), and Women’s NBA All-Star Shoni Schimmel (Umatilla Confederated Tribes) of the WNBA team Atlanta Dream.

The event was attended by a group of international tour operators from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Australia, and Switzerland. The visitors were on a planning tour hosted and coordinated by the Rocky Mountain International Marketing Group and North Dakota Tourism. Journalists from New Zealand and Canada covered the event, along with tribal press and media, and representatives from local news outlets. Over the four days, powwow paid attendance was estimated at 6,000 to 7,000 people.

The evening entertainment was carried live by tribal radio stations around the region from a feed supplied by KMHA Radio in New Town, North Dakota. Video and audio of Saturday night’s program was streamed online on the websites of stations owned by Townsquare Media in Bismarck/Mandan and other media markets in six states.

Billy Mills (Lakota) attended the powwow as an honored guest. Mills inspired a gathering of 90 runners with the memory of his 1964 win at the Olympic games in Tokyo as he fired the starting gun for two events in the THUNDERBIRD Powwow Run. The only American to ever win Olympic gold in the 10,000 meter race, was encouraging and approachable, signing autographs and posing with runners for photos before the events.

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