MISSOULA - People were excited and happy at the University of Montana's Adams Center to be able to gather again in person for the 53rd Kyiyo Powwow.
Hundreds of people gathered and event organizers say they expect tribes from around the nation to be represented and celebrated.
“I always thought it was fun and like, you just move fast and it's always like a competition with the drum too,” said Neil Medicine Bull, A Fancy Dancer competing at the event, when asked why he likes competing.
His mom and former Jingle dancer, Kay Medicine Bull, said powwows are a family affair. And she is thankful for how powwows bring their family together.
“I'm so thankful for powwow because it keeps my kids you know, drug and alcohol-free," said Kay Medicine Bull. "It keeps them away from gaming. It keeps them active. It was fun with going to Powwow, and kind of, representing your tribe and who you are."
The powwow helps cultivate community.
“I think it creates a community that isn't always well seen," said Sierra Paske, Kyiyo Native American Student Association vice president. "I love to just think of it as a celebration.”