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Honor Dance and Powwow to be held April 30 and May 1 at MSU

The Minot State Native American Cultural Center and Native American Cultural Awareness club in welcoming back the 31st annual Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration in the MSU Dome Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1.

The MSU Dome will look a little different during this year’s celebration, according to information provided by MSU. Last fall, the University displayed flags of the Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara Nation, the Spirit Lake Nation, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation to acknowledge their cultures and their presence on campus. The event will also implement standard guidelines for COVID-19, including doubled seating to allow for physical distancing, mask requirements for audience members and performers, and concessions to go.

After canceling last year due to the University’s COVID-19 shutdown, Native American Cultural Center Director Annette Mennem has been handling the safety precautions and changes to prepare for the event.

“I am excited to host the honoring powwow, but I am reluctant because of COVID-19,” she said, “but we are blessed to be here and have a beautiful campus to host this event.”

The standard dancing and drumming of the powwow will happen in full swing. While registration for these events does not start until 3 p.m. on Friday, April 30, Mennem anticipates well-known groups participating since this year’s event will not conflict with one of the largest powwows in the country, the Gathering of Nations.

The event is free and open to the public. Vendors will have authentic Native American clothing and crafts on sale at the event.

A tepee raising outside the Dome will open the event. The Native American Cultural Center purchased the tepee last year, but its raising was postponed due to the powwow’s cancellation. This year, it will be raised and blessed for the first time on campus. Mennem will host a historical lesson on the symbolism of the tepee on Thursday, April 29, with location and time to be announced.

The Red and Green School will also hold the Aki Onizhishin (Earth is Beautiful): Garden Gathering event to bless the land where three gardens will be planted, one that honors Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, one that honors Ojibwe from Turtle Mountain, and a simple pollinator garden. Dan Henry of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa will share the tribe’s creation story during this time, and educational materials and activities will be provided. The EVENT will take place on Friday, April 30 at 12 p.m. in the lot across University Avenue south of Old Main.

To close the powwow, a ceremony to honor this year’s Minot State graduates will also be held on Saturday, May 1 at 8 p.m. and is open for all students.

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