MORRIS — The concrete brick walls of the Cougar Sports Center echoed with the sounds of beating drums and chanting on the University of Minnesota’s Morris campus Saturday afternoon.
The timing was momentous – it was the first time the Circle of Nations Indigenous Association brought back its annual powwow to the university following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual CNIA powwow — this year marked the 37th such event — brought together Native Americans from across state lines to come together again. Participants dressed in their finest traditional clothing before dancing the afternoon with friends and family.
The annual event “celebrates the social and cultural connections that Native American students have with Native communities in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota,” according to a university press release.
The pageant-style powwow had various categories in which dancers could compete, ranging from age-specific contests to traditional, jingle, fantasy, and grass dances. Three additional contests included the Woodland Dance, a Hand Drum Contest, and a Potato Dance.
The emcee for this year’s event was Ronny Goodeagle, Jr. Gabe Desrosiers served as arena manager, Freddie Gipp as head judge and Iron Boy as host drummer. The Sisseton Vietnam Veterans Society served as the honor guard.