The 46th Annual American Indian Council Powwow at Montana State University kicks off March 25 at 6 p.m. and will continue through Saturday.
For the past two years, the powwow has been held virtually with dances being pre-recorded and shared. A tradition continued, this year with an in-person celebration of around 800 people.
“I find it so therapeutic just seeing family dancing, I will be dancing, I’m a traditional crow dancer,” Naomi Redfield said.
Redfield is the co-president of the American Indian Council, attends powwows annually, and finds the experience therapeutic.
“About a couple months ago, we were even wondering if we were going to have to do it virtually or in person,” Redfield said. “It was very important to me that we did it in person—after these last couple of years people just need to have fun, see their family and dance.”
The powwow will feature dancing, music, food, vendors, and community. Eight nations across Montana, over 50 tribes being represented, as well as members from communities in surrounding states and Canada.
Maleeya Knows His Gun, Miss Indian MSU, is looking forward to the moment to hearing the drums and having the opportunity to dance at a powwow again.
“Just being able to get back in the circle and dance again, I’ve been dancing since I was little, so I feel that drumbeat in my heart,” Knows His Gun said.
The powwow will play host to more than just dancing, but also a fun-run, basketball tournament, local nonprofits, arts and crafts, and more. All are welcomed, regardless of cultural background.