BILLINGS – Tribes came together for the 51st annual MSU Billings Powwow, the biggest and longest running of the college powwows in Montana.
A basketball tournament featuring 14 men’s teams and eight women’s teams helped bring awareness to the issue of Missing and Murdered Indian Women.
A portion of the entry fees went toward funding search parties who help look for the women.
“Kind of makes me mad,” said Jonethyn Collins, tournament co-director. “But it brings the drive out to see if we can find the victim alive and bring her home.”
“Basketball is huge in Indian country,” said Charlie Tsoodle, tournament co-director. “So that’s why we’re using basketball as a tool to bring together a community.”
“Everyone that is participating in this tournament is affected one way or another in this. When these people are playing, they’re not only playing to have fun and win,” he added. “But they’re also there thinking about that friend, that loved one they lost.”
Collins and Tsoodle say the tournament may become a regular part of the MSUB Powwow.
-David Jay reporting for MTN News