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“We Are All Related” artwork selected for 2014 powwow
April 1 2014

This artwork, titled “We Are All Related,” by artist Wallace “Butch” Thunder Hawk Jr. is the 2014 poster image for the United Tribes International Powwow.

BISMARCK (UTN) – The United Tribes International Powwow Committee has selected the work “We Are All Related,” by artist Wallace “Butch” Thunder Hawk Jr., as the image of the 2014 United Tribes International Powwow.

            The annual event is set for September 4-7, the weekend after Labor Day, on the campus of United Tribes Technical College. Spectators and friends from all walks are welcomed to the circle to share the traditions of one of North Dakota’s premier cultural events.

            The powwow committee also adopted “We Are All Related” as the overall theme of the four-day event now about to celebrate its 45th year. Providing the action will be upwards of 1,000 participants from the northern Plains and around the country.

            Powwow posters are a popular art form. Each year an original work appears on the United Tribes poster.

            Thunder Hawk’s design depicts a Native couple flanked by four pairs of sacred animals central to his Lakota/Dakota culture: the horse, eagle, elk and buffalo. Two dragonflies hover overhead and a Native flute is part of the natural scene, along with the sun, clouds and sky rendered in bright hues.

            Thunder Hawk has instructed tribal art at United Tribes since 1973. He created this piece to illustrate the Lakota phrase, “Mitakuye Oyasin,” and show the inclusive nature of Native thinking.

            “It shows that all people are related too,” he says. “No matter what color we are, white, black, yellow or red, we have the same creator.”

            He hopes it will improve understanding about Native People and even send a message to care for the environment.

            “It came to me to create an image to show how we are connected to Mother Earth, the universe and each other,” says the artist. “I didn’t have any idea this would be a poster for the powwow. It’s just something I did. All my things come from the heart.”

            “We Are All Related” is a new work, completed in late 2013. The original is acrylic paint on canvas and measures three feet by three feet. The powwow committee secured rights to use the image on the poster and wearable and collectible items for the event.

            Thunder Hawk has supplied artwork for previous powwows: a ledger design in 2011 and others in the 1970s and early ‘80s when United Tribes hosted more than one powwow each year. His designs have also been used for other powwows, including the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, NM.

            Powwow posters are considered a window into Native themes and values. “They’re collector items,” says Thunder Hawk, who will be signing posters at the powwow. “You don’t get the original but you get the design for free because the posters are given away.”

            The powwow begins with the first Grand Entry at Lone Star Arena in the center of campus on Thursday, September 4 at 7 p.m. Subsequent Grand Entries are held Friday and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Central Time), and Sunday at 12 noon.

            A $20 entrance fee guarantees admission to all dance and drum competitions for the four days. Daily admission is $12.  Seniors (65 and over) and children (5 and under) enter free.

            Admission wrist bands may be purchased in advance at the college’s Finance Department prior to August 30 at 4 p.m. Group rates provided for 10 or more. Contact Ella Duran 701-255-3285 x 1214, eduran@uttc.edu.

            Camping space is available free of charge in designated locations on the United Tribes campus; round-the-clock security and access to facilities. No drugs or alcohol allowed and no pets.

            The Miss Indian Nations pageant will be absent from the 2014 festivities. The event will take a break while the powwow committee evaluates how a young women’s leadership program can best be presented in the future.

            Known as “Home of the Champions,” the United Tribes International Powwow is the powwow season’s last, large outdoor event on the northern Great Plains powwow circuit. The contest offers $80,000 in prize money to the top singing groups and dancers is two dozen competitive categories. Cash, jackets and medals are awarded to the champions early Sunday evening, September 7, culminating the event. Day money is provided for drums and tiny tots.

            Playing a central role in every powwow are those who answered the call to duty. Military veterans and active duty personnel who represent the college’s governing tribes in North Dakota continue their service by presenting and posting the Colors during all powwow grand entries.
Contact: Mike Iken 701-255-3285 x 1277, miken@uttc.edu

            Surrounding the dance arbor is a ring of powwow circuit vendors, creating a lively atmosphere and catering to the needs of smart shoppers. Everything can be found from hides and antlers, to beads, finished clothing, bumper and window stickers and powwow collectibles. A food court presents a wide variety of cuisine, from oriental and barbeque to the ever-popular ‘Indian Taco.’

            Craft Vendors Contact: Bernard Strikes Enemy 701-255-3285 x 1302; Food Vendors Contact: Robert Fox 701-255-3285 x 1384, rfox@uttc.edu; vendor application online: www.unitedtribespowwow.com/contact.asp.

            School classes and school groups (K-8) are invited to Youth Day at the Powwow. It is a music and cultural event that entertains. Included are presentations, music, tribal dance and audience participation. Youth Day begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 5 and runs through the morning. Chaperoned school groups admitted free.

            Contact: Shiela Netterville 701-255-3285 x 1546 snetterville@uttc.edu.

            The United Tribes “Parade of Champions,” is scheduled for Saturday, September 6 through downtown Bismarck, using the powwow theme: “We Are All Related.” It features dancers, singers, tribal groups, tribal leaders and community groups. Cash prizes are awarded in four categories: Best Overall Float, Best Youth or Culture Group, Best Horse Group, and Best Drum Group.

            Contact: Jessica DeCoteau 701-255-3285 x 1332, jdecoteau@uttc.edu.

            Immediately prior to the powwow, the Eighteenth Annual United Tribes Tribal Leaders Summit takes place September 3-5 at the Bismarck Civic Center. Tribal, federal and state officials discuss important Indian Country issues and share ideas; also includes a trade fair.

            Contact: Janet Thomas 701-255-3285 x 1431, jthomas@uttc.edu

            “Teeing Off for Academic Excellence” on Friday, September 5 is a benefit tourney for student scholarships at Apple Creek Country Club.

            Contact: Sam Azure 701-255-3285 x 1305, sazure@uttc.edu; or Hunter Berg 701-255-3285 x 1361, hberg@uttc.edu

            In 2014 the United Tribes softball tournament will be combined with an All-Indian National tournament. The event is expected to attract 60 teams of players and spectators from around the country.

            Five divisions are offered during the September 5-7 tournament at the Clem Kelly Softball complex in Bismarck. The event is double elimination for both women’s teams and men’s teams.

            Contact: Steve Shepherd 701-255-3285 x 1537, sshepherd@uttc.edu, or Joey McLeod 701-255-3285 x 1520, jmcleod@uttc.edu.

            A 10K and 5K run/walk is hosted for runners and walkers of all ages on Saturday, September 6.

            Contact: Dan Molnar 701-255-3285 x 1367, dmolnar@uttc.edu

            United Tribes honors you with the cultural tradition of a buffalo feed Sunday, September 7. All dancers, singers and visitors are invited free of charge. Serving takes place in the mid-to-late afternoon outside the United Tribes Cafeteria; serving time is announced. The meal is served by the college cafeteria staff and many student and staff volunteers.

            Phil Baird, UTTC Interim President; Julie Cain, Chair/Cultural Advisor; Ella Duran, Treasurer; Deb Painte, Secretary; Charisse Fandrich, Fundraising.

            Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Spirit Lake Tribe, Standing Rock Tribe, Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Website: www.uttc.edu.
Powwow: Sandy Erickson, serickson@uttc.edu, 701-255-3285 x 1293
Media: Dennis J. Neumann, opi@uttc.edu, 701-255-3285 x 1386
Lodging: www.discoverbismarckmandan.com

United Tribes is a Tobacco-Free campus as of January 1, 2014.
Please Join us and Celebrate Better Health!
KEEP TOBACCO SACRED (ceremonial uses permitted)
For information visit www.uttc.edu.

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