MISSOULA – Some of the best Native American dancers and drum groups in North America will gather at the University of Montana for the 46th annual Kyi-Yo Celebration on Friday and Saturday, April 18-19, at the University of Montana’s Adams Center.
The annual pow-wow celebration unifies Native Americans from across the nation in an event full of dancing, singing and story sharing. The theme of this year’s event is “Seven Generations.”
“We want to leave the world a better place for all our people who have yet to walk this world,” said Amber Shaffer, Kyi-yo student group member. “The event’s theme remembers the decisions made three generations behind us, and helps us to think about how our decisions now will affect three generations ahead of us.”
The first Grand Entry event will be held at 7 p.m. Friday. Saturday Grand Entry times are noon and 7 p.m. A children’s village will take place all day Saturday at the Adams Center. A traditional feed, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Missoula County Fairgrounds, located at 1101 S. Ave. W.
Head dancers this year are UM student Rodney First Strike and UM alumna Marshalene Last Star. More information is available on the Kyi-Yo website at http://cas.umt.edu/kyiyo/.
A general-admission session pass costs $5 and weekend passes cost $12. One session will be offered on Friday and two sessions will be offered on Saturday. Seniors age 65 and older and children age 6 and younger get in free. Dancer registration costs $5 and drum registration for 10 passes costs $50. Tickets and passes can be purchased at the door, online at http://www.griztix.com, at all GrizTix locations or by calling 406-243-4051.
Because of a large number of events happening on campus Saturday, April 19, pow-wow participants are encouraged to park in the Adams Center Lot P.
The Kyi-Yo Native American Student Association plays an integral role in promoting the cultural traditions and customs of all Native Americans. Through many extra-curricular activities during the year, Kyi-Yo hopes to engage the faculty and students of UM in the cultural identities of Native Americans to support cultural diversity on campus. Kyi-Yo is open to all students, as well as any community members who wish to become members. The club is a chartered member of the Associated Students of UM.
The annual pow-wow is produced by the student group and costs about $60,000. The club aims to one day operate the pow-wow from an endowed fund. Currently, funding comes from donations, door admissions and fundraising events such as the Coldwater Grizzly Dip, which was held this past December on the Oval.
“We have been working hard to create some annual fundraisers the club can rely on year after year,” Shaffer said.
For more information on pow-wow events, call Shaffer at 406-370-1559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.