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MSU Powwow Celebration Friday and Saturday

Submitted photo Dancers wearing regalia dance during past powwows held at MSU.

The 30th annual Spring Honor Dance & Pow Wow Celebration will be held Friday and Saturday at the Minot State University Dome. Admission is $3 a day or $5 for a two day wristband for those ages 12 to 55. Elders will be admitted for free. MSU students, faculty and staff will be admitted for free with an ID.

The event has grown by leaps and bounds from its origins three decades ago and is now attracting competitors and vendors from many other parts of the country, said Annette Mennem, director of the Native American Center and co-chair for the Diversity Council and advisor for the Native American Club.

“It’s kind of like a rodeo circuit,” Mennem said earlier this week, in that dancers will travel to and compete at different events held throughout the year.

Men compete in the traditional, grass, and fancy categories and women compete in the traditional, fancy and jingle categories. Cash prizes are awarded for each of the different age categories.

When Mennem started planning the event in 2012, there were only 12 drum groups; now there are about 16.

Submitted photo Dancers wearing regalia dance during past powwows held at MSU.

Vendors will come from as far away as Arizona and Salt Lake City and other areas.

“The city sees a benefit from that,” Mennem said.

The average family in town for the pow wow will spend up to $1,000 over the weekend, Mennem said one study showed.

Four local hotels also offered to become the official hosts of the pow wow.

Students are also a huge part of success of the pow wow. It is the largest student-led event on campus and Mennem said there are more than 130 student volunteers who are helping to organize and run the event.

The action will kick off at 10 a.m. Friday, with registration for dancers and drum groups. At 7 p.m. Friday, there will be the Grand Entry Parade of Dancers. Following that Grand Entry, MSU will honor Thomas and Judy Fredericks. The Fredericks established the Catherine Medicine Stone Fredericks Scholarship Endowment in 2018, which provides scholarships benefiting Native American students. Thomas Fredericks’ mother was a lifelong resident of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and believed strongly in education, according to MSU.

On Saturday, dancers and drum group registration will open at 10 a.m. and close at 12:30 p.m. The Grand Entry Parade of Dancers will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. There will be a free buffalo supper at 5 p.m., followed by the Grand Entry Parade of Dancers at 7 p.m.

At 8 p.m. Saturday there will be an honor parade of MSU students who are graduating in May. Vendors and food booths will open each day at 11 a.m.

Mennem said there are about 141 Native American students enrolled in on-campus or online classes. The university averages about 20 Native American graduates each spring.

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