MSU American Indian Council Powwow is set for March 30-31

Article Image Alt Text

MSU photo by Anne Cantrell

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony at a recent annual MSU Powwow.

The 43rd annual American Indian Council Powwow at Montana State University will be held March 30-31 at MSU’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. The powwow is free and open to all.

This powwow is one of the largest in Montana. The powwow begins at 6 p.m. Friday, March 30, with a grand entry. There will also be grand entries at noon and 6 p.m. Saturday, March 31. Dance and drum competitions with cash prizes are offered.

The host drum group will be Young Spirit. The head woman dancer is Kassie Runsabove (First Kill), White Clay and Cree, of Billings. Head man dancer is Walter Runsabove (Little Hawk and His Horse that Flies), Northern Cheyenne, Oglala Lakota and Red Bottom Nakota, of Billings. The masters of ceremonies will be Jason Goodstriker, Kainai (Blood Tribe) and Herb Augustine, Northern Arapaho, of Ethete, Wyoming. The arena director is George Abeyta, Eastern Shoshone, of Fort Washakie, Wyoming. Assistant arena director Francis Sherwood is a member of the Arikara, Hidatsa and Navajo tribes, of Denver. The head dance judge is Terry Brockie, White Clay, of Fort Belknap. Head singing judge is Greg Osborne, Shoshone-Bannock and Blackfeet, of Bozeman. Tiny Tots dancers, up to 5 years of age, will be given an opportunity to dance and will receive small prizes during each of the three powwow sessions.

Booths located in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse will offer a variety of artisan work for sale and nonprofit and government organizations also will share information. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Indigenous food, including fry bread and bison stew, among other items, will be available for purchase from the Fork in the Road food truck that will be parked on the arena floor.

Powwow organizers are seeking volunteers from the MSU and greater community to help with the event. Volunteers may work at the south entrance of the fieldhouse during the powwow. Also, the American Indian Council has organized a silent auction with proceeds going to help fund the powwow.

The American Indian Council Powwow Fun Run with 5K, one-mile and walking categories, will be held March 31, beginning at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse parking lot. Registration begins at 8 a.m. the day of race with the race starting at 9 a.m. The walk category will begin at 9:05 a.m. There is a $10 registration fee, which includes a race T-shirt.

An Easter egg hunt for children will be held at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, March 31, at the South Hannon Lawn, north of Roberts Hall, which is the site of the future American Indian Student Center.

The annual MSU Powwow Basketball Tournament, with cash prizes, will be held March 30-31. For more information, go to the tournament webpage at or call Cheryl Polacek at 406-599-1311 or email Megan Gourneau at

The Presidential American Indian alumni brunch, is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 31, in the Great Room at the MSU Alumni Foundation. For more information about the brunch go to the AIC webpage at, contact the MSU Alumni Foundation at 406-994-2401 or email The brunch is free, but those who wish to attend should RSVP by Monday, March 26, by calling 855-850-2586 or emailing

The American Indian Council, an MSU student organization, raises funds to help ensure the powwow is free. The MSU Department of Native American Studies and multiple colleges, departments and programs, as well as off-campus organizations, also contribute. For more information about the powwow, go to or contact Lisa Perry at 406-994-4880 or or contact Francesca Rodriguez at 406-994-5529 or