MISSOULA – One of the nation’s oldest student-run powwows and a beloved University of Montana tradition, the Kyiyo Pow Wow, will be held on campus Friday and Saturday, April 21-22, in the Adams Center.

Unifying Indigenous people from across the nation and Montana, the annual celebration preserves the rich heritage of tribes and cultures while renewing old traditions. Now in its 54th year, the powwow will feature Native singing, dancing, story sharing and other events.

Grand entry times are at 7 p.m. Friday and at noon and 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free for children 6 and under and seniors over 65. General admission is $7 on Friday, $12 on Saturday or $15 for the entire weekend.

The event is back to full strength after being canceled in 2020 and 2021 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s such an honor to uphold this momentous celebration after all the hardships we’ve collectively experienced in the past three years,” said Riley Werk, co-president of Kyiyo Native American Student Association.

Werk said celebrating her culture and people puts a joy in her heart that motivates her to be involved in activities with the Native student population on campus.

“As a first-year student, hosting Kyiyo is an experience I am more than happy to have,” she said. “The positive effects that celebrations such as these have on our people are truly remarkable, in the aspect that it brings joy and excitement.”

“As a result of the COVID pandemic, mental health has been in a decline,” she said, “and I can guarantee that this celebration is going to provide positive yields for our mental health and well-being.”

The 2023 Kyiyo Royalty are:

  • Miss Kyiyo: Cailei Cummins.
  • Jr. Miss Kyiyo: Morgan Layne Shakespeare.
  • Little Miss Kyiyo: Tamia Audyn Bull Bear.

The 2023 Kyiyo head staff are:

  • Master of Ceremony: Ruben Little Head Sr.
  • Head Man: Conan Cutstherobe.
  • Head Woman: Wozek Chandler.
  • Arena Director: Walter Runsabove.
  • Head Drum Judge: Aaron Denny.
  • Head Dance Judge: Jeremy Shield.
  • Host Drum: Dry Lake.

For questions about specials, entries or other information, email kyiyo@umontana.edu. More information is online HERE .

The UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law also is holding its 21st annual Indian Law Week in the days leading up to the powwow. Events run April 17-21, and a full schedule is online HERE.

- by UM News Service -

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