40th Annual United Tribes International Powwow

Bismarck, North Dakota (UTN) 9-09

Marquel Crawford (Dakota) during grand entry, followed by Wayne Silas Jr.

Champion dancers and singers paused briefly during the United Tribes International Powwow for the sporadic thunder of fireworks over the college campus.

The colorful display marked the 40th Anniversary of United Tribes Technical College and highlighted the September 10-13 international powwow in Bismarck.

The drum group Bad Nation, Fort Thompson, SD, won the singing contest, followed in order by: High Noon, Battle River, White Lodge, Black Bear Crossing, and Wahpe Kute.

Twenty-seven drums rendered their best songs for 515 registered contestants, and many other dancers, who displayed their talent during six grand entries and the contest competition.

Rain showers forced cancellation of one grand entry during the four day event but competition continued and ended early Sunday evening.

Newly crowned Miss Indian Nations XVII, Jennifer Mellette 
Dancers and singers made up most of the entries in the annual United Tribes Parade of Champions, which took place on the streets of the college campus outside the powwow arena. North Dakota Congressman Earl Pomeroy was the parade's special guest.

Jennifer Mellette (Lakota), from the Standing Rock Tribe, McLaughlin, SD, was selected as the seventeenth Miss Indian Nations. The 20 year-old Miss Mellette is a junior at Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD. She is the daughter of Beverly Iron Shield and Ben Mellette Jr. The runner up was Samantha Ridley, Miss Standing Rock.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 people crowded around and into the powwow dance arbor to see the Saturday evening performance of Soweto Street Beat, the powwow's featured cultural performing group representing the Zulu culture of South Africa.

Sixty-eight United Tribes Technical College cafeteria staff members, along with college staffers and other volunteers, served a free buffalo meal Sunday for 3,500 visitors, singers and dancers. Over 300 pounds of buffalo meat was donated by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, a governing tribe of the college.
First place drum group Bad Nation rendered the final song. United Tribes News photo.

The "Home of the Champions" powwow head staff were: announcers Butch Felix, SD; Corky Old Horn, MT; and Jim Clairmont (MN); Head Women's Dance Judge Stephanie Charging Eagle, SD; Head Men's Dance Judge Lakota Clairmont, SD; Head Singing Judge Kenny Pratt, Sr., Canada; and Arena Director Michael Roberts, OK.

Marcel Bull Bear, Kyle, SD, provided the ground blessing for Lone Star Arena at the outset of the event.

All first place dance category and singing contest winners received a jacket with the colorful 40th anniversary powwow logo, taken from the work of Thomas Red Owl Haaukas, a medal and cash. Second through fifth place winners received cash and medals.

The United Tribes Powwow Committee thanks all powwow participants and spectators for making the 40th annual event a success. The committee also expresses its sincere appreciation to companies and individuals in the Bismarck-Mandan community for sponsoring the competitive categories and supporting the powwow and associated events.