Minot State University will hold the 25th annual Native American Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration April 25-26.
The event is expected to draw up to 1,500 people. The event includes the acknowledgement of achievements, competitive dancing, vendor and information booths and food.
The event is sponsored by the Native American Cultural Awareness Club and the university and honors all 2014 graduates. Seventeen Native American students are graduating from Minot State this year.
"Minot State has many Native American alumni from all parts of the country. We want them to join us in celebrating MSU's 100th birthday, the Native American Cultural Awareness Club's 25th annual powwow and the 2014 graduates and to say farewell to MSU's 10th president, David Fuller, a strong supporter of Native students," said Annette Mennem, Native American Center director and NACAC advisor, in a press release. "Alumni, this is your invitation to come out April 26th for the 7 p.m. Grand Entry and honoring. We have a gift for you, so be sure to check in at the information table."
The Yellow Bird Indian Dancers, internationally renowned champion dancers, will perform April 25 at 10: 30 a.m. and 8 p.m.
To further honor the graduates and their families, a buffalo meal will be served April 25 in the Student Center at 5 p.m. The Standing Rock Sioux Game and Fish Department donated the buffalo.
Both days feature performances, dance competitions and the sale of Native American arts, crafts and food. The activities start at 10 a.m. on April 25 and at 1 p.m. on April 26. Two "Grand Entries," the time when all of the dancers enter the arena, are scheduled for 1 and 7 p.m. each day. Charles Moran, Mandaree, will be the emcee, while Russell Young Bird will be the arena director with Fort Peck Sioux as the host drum group.
A Crow special honoring for Fuller and his wife, Nancy, follows the 7 p.m. Grand Entry on April 26. Doreen Lyons, Irene Stevenson and their family are hosting the Crow special honoring. Crow announcer Stanley Pretty Paint will be the main speaker and the Crow Drum Group, Night Hawks Jrs., is the host drum for the honoring of Fuller. There will be men's and women's Crow style dance contest. The Fullers will take lead to start off the "MSU diversity leaders" roundance.
The "Honor Parade," in which all 2014 MSU graduates are invited to participate, follows the honoring of the Fullers on April 26 at 8 p.m.
Dance competitions will be held for adults, men, women, teens, juniors and "tiny tots." The competition for men includes traditional, grass and fancy dancing. Women's dance competitions include traditional, fancy and jingle styles. Cash prizes will be awarded.
Admission to the Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration is $3 for ages 12-55; it is free to children under 12, senior citizens and MSU students, faculty and staff.
In addition to MSU and the Standing Rock Game and Fish Department, the Three Affiliated Tribes' business council, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Four Bears Casino, Prairie Knights Casino, Spirit Lake Casino, families of club members, and Visit Minot provided support for the event.