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Kyiyo Pow Wow set to return to University of Montana

The 54th Kyiyo Pow Wow will be held at the Adams Center on April 21 and April 22.
Kyiyo Dancer
Posted at 11:36 AM, Apr 17, 2023

MISSOULA – The Kyiyo Pow Wow is set to return to the University of Montana this weekend.

What is described as one of the nation’s oldest student-run powwows will be held inside the Adams Center on Friday, April 21 and April 22, 2023.

Organizers say the annual celebration preserves the rich heritage of tribes and cultures while renewing old traditions. Celebrating its 54th year, the powwow will feature Native singing, dancing, story sharing and other events.

Grand entry times are at 7 p.m. Friday and at noon and 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free for children 6 and under and seniors over 65. General admission is $7 on Friday, $12 on Saturday or $15 for the entire weekend.

The event returns to UM after being canceled for the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s such an honor to uphold this momentous celebration after all the hardships we’ve collectively experienced in the past three years,” said Kyiyo Native American Student Association co-president Riley Werk.

“As a first-year student, hosting Kyiyo is an experience I am more than happy to have,” Werk said. “The positive effects that celebrations such as these have on our people are truly remarkable, in the aspect that it brings joy and excitement.”

“As a result of the COVID pandemic, mental health has been in a decline,” Werk added. "And I can guarantee that this celebration is going to provide positive yields for our mental health and well-being.”

The 2023 Kyiyo Royalty are:

  • Miss Kyiyo: Cailei Cummins.
  • Jr. Miss Kyiyo: Morgan Layne Shakespeare.
  • Little Miss Kyiyo: Tamia Audyn Bull Bear.

The 2023 Kyiyo head staff are:

  • Master of Ceremony: Ruben Little Head Sr.
  • Head Man: Conan Cutstherobe.
  • Head Woman: Wozek Chandler.
  • Arena Director: Walter Runsabove.
  • Head Drum Judge: Aaron Denny.
  • Head Dance Judge: Jeremy Shield.
  • Host Drum: Dry Lake.

People can email for additional information about the event.

The UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law also is holding its 21st annual Indian Law Week in the days leading up to the powwow. Events run from April to April 21. A full schedule can be found here.