Kicking off spring in Missoula, people from across the region gathered to sing, drum, and dance for the 54th annual Kyiyo Pow Wow at the University of Montana last weekend. The celebration, organized by the Kyiyo Native American Student Association, was an opportunity to honor movement, family and culture, connect generations, and show off dance styles and regalia from different tribes.
Over the course of Friday and Saturday, Ruben Little Head and Tommy Christian slipped in a few jokes while emceeing the pow wow and leading the ceremonies. Conan Cutstherope and Wozek Chandler, dressed in silver, red and orange regalia, served as head dancers, and Dry Lake jammed as the host drum. Royalty included Cailei Cummins as Miss Kyiyo, Morgan Shakespeare as Junior Miss Kyiyo, and Tamia Bull Bear as Little Miss Kyiyio. Dancers of all ages competed in traditional, fancy, chicken, and jingle dances.
Montana is home to approximately 63,000 people of Native American heritage and 12 distinct tribal nations, including the Niitsitapi (Blackfeet), Apsáalooke (Crow), Sélish (Salish), Qlispé (Pend d’Oreille), Ksanka (Kootenai), Annishinabe (Chippewa and Little Shell Chippewa), Ne-i-yah-wahk (Plains Cree), A’aninin (Gros Ventre), Nakoda (Assiniboine), Lakota and Dakota (Sioux), and Tsetsêhesêstâhase and So’taa’eo’o (Northern Cheyenne). Visitors from Washington and Idaho were represented at Kyiyo as well.
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