Public Invited to Celebrate Native Culture At Annual Kyi-Yo Powwow

April 14, 2017

MISSOULA – Some of the best Native American dancers and drum groups in North America will gather at the University of Montana for the 49th annual Kyiyo Celebration on Friday and Saturday, April 21-22, at the UM Adams Center.

Hosted by the Kyiyo Native American Student Association, the event is one of the oldest student-run powwows in the country and allows the Native American community to share its culture with the UM campus, Missoula and beyond through traditional dance and song.  

The theme this year is “Resilience Through Unity.” Student club members are proud to serve as a link between the Native American community and UM. Club members believe Native culture and history in Montana are important parts of the state’s identity and ones that should continue to be celebrated by future generations.

The first Grand Entry event will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, April 21. Saturday Grand Entry times are noon and 7 p.m.

Howie Thompson will return as Master of Ceremonies along with longtime Honorary Master of Ceremonies Chief Earl Old Person. Blackstone Singers from Sweetgrass, Saskatchewan, Canada, will be this year’s host drum. Outgoing Royalty for 2017 Kyiyo are Wozek Chandler, Miss Kyiyo; Oteskwebeeksaki Shebala, Junior Miss Kyiyo; and Shandiin Shebala, Lil’ Miss Kyiyo.

General admission session passes cost $5 and weekend passes cost $12. One session will be offered Friday, and two sessions will be offered Saturday. Seniors age 65 and older and children age 6 and younger are admitted 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.

The Kyiyo Native American Student Association plays an integral role in promoting the cultural traditions and customs of all Native Americans. Through extracurricular activities offered throughout the year, Kyiyo engages UM employees and students in the cultural identities of Native Americans to support cultural diversity. Kyiyo is open to all Native American and non-native students, as well as any community members who wish to become members. The club is a chartered member of the Associated Students of UM.

Costs of hosting the powwow have risen substantially in recent years. To counteract these costs, the club actively fundraises year-round. Top fundraisers include Indian taco sales and Kyiyo’s own athletic line of “Native Griz” apparel.

For more information on powwow events, visit http://cas.umt.edu/kyiyo, call Kyiyo Co-President Jacinda Morigeau at 406-333-1481 or visit the Kyiyo Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kyi-Yo-Pow-Wow/337255636055.

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Contact: Jacinda Morigeau, co-president, Kyiyo Native American Student Association, 406-333-1481, kyiyo@umontana.edu.