GREAT FALLS - The 13th annual Little Shell Powwow kicked off over the weekend as a celebration of life and Indigenous culture
Tribal members from all over the state and parts of Canada traveled to Great Falls to join in on the event.
Alisa Herodes, a Little Shell Council Woman overseeing the event said that powwows are like family reunions.
“Powwows are basically a gathering of families who get together and celebrate life and dance.” She explained.
The event was held at the University of Providence Mclaughlin Center where spirits ran high.
Vendors sold their art and craft items and there were plenty of singing and dancing.
In the gym, seven drums lined the far wall each with a different tribe and family singing traditional dance songs.
Dances included the Women’s and Men’s Traditional Dance, Fancy Dance, Men’s Grass and Chicken, Women’s Jingle, and even a special Potato Dance.
The goal this year was to make the event bigger than ever with more dancers, more prizes, and a larger gateway to sharing Indigenous pride.
Kylie LaFoutain, Little Shells’ newly elected tribal Princess said that traditional dancing is a great way to feel a deeper connection with the culture.
“It’s amazing because growing up, you know, these resources weren’t available. I didn’t learn much about my culture in school. For most people, they don’t know their native languages or any of that anymore. So, I think it’s important to teach these younger generations about it.”
Powwows each have one thing in common — bringing people together to celebrate Native American culture.