Dancers filled UTTC’s Lone Star Arena for a group photo during the 2016 international powwow.  United Tribes News photo DENNIS J. NEUMANN


BISMARCK (UTN) – United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) plans to recognize and honor Native men who served in the military in World War One during the college’s upcoming powwow.

The 48th Annual UTTC International Powwow is set for September 8-10 at Lone Star Arena on the college campus on University Drive in south Bismarck. The public is invited.

UTTC is the site of a former military post that was a busy assembly center 100 years ago as war raged in Europe. National Guard troops were trained and mobilized at Bismarck’s Fort Lincoln, exactly on the spot where the powwow takes place.

To mark the centennial of WWI, UTTC will honor Native American servicemen from North Dakota tribes who served and sacrificed, even before most Native people were granted U.S. citizenship.

From left, Albert Little Owl, Dan Chase and Jack Nagel, all from Three Affiliated (MHA Nation), served in World War One.


UTTC will host the honoring Sunday, September 10 for WWI Native servicemen from the college’s governing tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation; Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate; Spirit Lake Tribe; Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. The honoring will follow the powwow’s Sunday 1 p.m. Grand Entry.

The names of over 350 WWI-era Native servicemen will be announced in the powwow arena during an honor song. Families and descendants of the servicemen are invited to take part in the arena, along with veterans and others at the powwow.

Native Color Guard and Auxiliary units are cordially invited to participate.

Attending the powwow will be representatives of the North Dakota WWI Centennial Committee and the National WWI Centennial Commission.

A Veterans Dance Special will follow with prize money for women and men participants. For more information about the honoring, please contact Todd Goodsell 701-255-3285 x 2751,


Known as “Home of the Champions,” the UTTC powwow is a well-recognized cultural showcase open to the public. As a contest powwow, over $100-thousand in prize money will be earned by the top singing groups and dancers in two dozen competitive categories. Prize money for the top drum is $10,000. Champions are announced and prizes awarded after three days of judging on Sunday, September 10. Day money is provided for non-contest drums and tiny tots.

Upwards of 1,000 participants from the Northern Plains, around the country – and across the border in Canada – make this one of the premier cultural events annually in North Dakota.


First Grand Entry is set for Friday, September 8 at 1 p.m. (Central Time). The point system is in effect. Grand entry guests include the 2017 inductees into the North Dakota Native American Hall of Honor.

Subsequent Grand Entries are Friday evening at 7 p.m., Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

A $20 entrance fee guarantees admission for all three days. Daily admission is $10. Seniors (65 and over) and children (5 and under) enter free.

Admission wrist bands may be purchased in advance through Sept. 1 at the college’s finance dept. Group rates provided for 10 or more. Contact Ella Duran 701-255-3285 x 1214,

Camping begins Tuesday, September 5. Space is available free of charge in designated locations on campus. Round-the-clock security is provided and access to facilities. No drugs or alcohol allowed and no pets.

United Tribes is a “tobacco free campus.” The college keeps tobacco sacred by allowing its use for ceremonies only. Other uses of tobacco in all forms are prohibited.

A grand entry at the 2016 UTTC Powwow.  United Tribes News photo DENNIS J. NEUMANN


The UTTC Powwow Committee hails the return of “Battle Royale” dance specials in all men’s and women’s categories. Exciting dance-offs feature elimination rounds and competition for prize money. Battle Royale sessions begin Friday evening, September 8, with Men’s Chicken, Women’s Jingle and Men’s Grass categories. Saturday evening it is Men’s and Women’s Fancy. The Men’s and Women’s Traditional categories conclude the Battle Royale on Sunday afternoon.

A Golden Age Women’s dance special is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. in honor of Vivian Gillette. The Veterans Dance Special is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, Sept. 10.


Master of Ceremonies: Lawrence Baker (Hidatsa/Mandan/Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission) and Vince Beyl (White Earth Ojibway); Arena Director: Rusty Gillette (Arikara/Hidatsa); Head Singing Judge: Alphonse Obey (Piapot First Nation, SK, CAN); Head Women’s Judge: Sherisse McKay (Sioux Valley, Dakota Nations, MB, CAN); Head Men’s Judge: Chaske LaBlanc (Lower Sioux Brule, MN).


Powwow vendors ring the dance arbor, creating a lively atmosphere catering to the needs of smart shoppers. Everything powwow is available from hides and antlers, to beads, finished clothing, bumper and window stickers and powwow collectibles.

The powwow food court offers a wide variety, from oriental and barbeque to the ever-popular ‘Indian Taco.’ Arts and Craft Vendors contact Bernard Strikes Enemy 701-595-9993,; Food Vendors contact Robert Fox 701-323-3904,


Fourth-grade classes are invited to Youth Day at the Powwow on Friday, Sept. 8. In 2017, the event features a new format: cultural learning and sharing at four, rotating stations. The topics are history, games, story-telling, and music & dance. Audience participation is included.

Youth Day is a collaboration of Theodore Jamerson Elementary School on the UTTC campus and Bismarck Public Schools. It begins at 10 a.m. and runs to noon.

The location is a grassy plaza on the north side of campus near the college administration building. Chaperoned school groups are admitted to the powwow free-of-charge and invited to take-in the 1 p.m. Grand Entry. Groups are advised to plan for their own lunches or purchase lunch in the powwow food court.

Contact Sam Azure, TJES Principal: 701-221-1842 or


The 21st Annual United Tribes “Tribal Leaders Summit” precedes the powwow September 5-7 at the Bismarck Event Center. Tribal, federal and state leaders gather for meetings and presentations and professional development and networking. The event also includes a trade fair. For more information go to the Tribal Leaders Summit webpage: or contact Dr. William Gourneau 701-221-1708,


“Teeing Off for Academic Excellence” benefit golf tournament starts at 1 p.m. Friday, September 8 at Apple Creek Country Club; proceeds go to student scholarships. Contact Sam Azure 701-221-1842,


High-school hoops action takes place in the UTTC Gymnasium, home of the Thunderbirds, for boys’ and girls’ teams. Contact Pete Conway 701-221-1361,


LEGENDS Softball Tournament: This tournament is for everyone who loves the game; men’s, women’s and mixed competitions; teams and spectators from around the country. September 8-10; three game guarantee in both women’s and men’s divisions and a homerun derby. Contact Steve Shepherd 701-226-3987,, Online Info:



A 10K and 5K run/walk hosted for runners and walkers of all ages begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, September 9. Also Kids fun run. Online and on-site registration. Contact Chris Knoll 701-221-1355, 


A Horseshoe tournament is open to the public Saturday September 9 near the outdoor basketball court, east of Theodore Jamerson Elementary School. Players must supply their own ‘shoes’ and be age 18 or over to play. For more information, contact True Clown Jr. 701-527-8652,


Hand games are a new addition for the 2017 powwow. Young and old alike, Native and non-Native are invited. Revel in the intense action of winning the counting sticks from your opponents by successfully hiding your “bones” and exposing theirs. Hand drums, rattles, and chanting heighten the excitement. There’s no entry fee. Teams consist of 3-5 players. Up to $2,200 in prize money. To register your team contact Ahiticia Tasso 605-545-2144 or Margaret Landin 701-805-1849 or email


United Tribes honors you with the cultural tradition of a buffalo meal at 4 p.m. Sunday, September 10, wrapping up the event. Dancers, singers and visitors are all invited to partake free of charge. Buffalo courtesy of the MHA Nation, one of the college’s governing tribes.

Chairman Mark Fox of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation will also host a free BBQ feed Saturday, September 9 at 4:30 p.m. This is open to the public.


The Powwow executive committee consists of Russ McDonald, UTTC President; Katt Dye-Chapin, Chair; Francine McDonald, Vice-Chair; Ella Duran, Treasurer; Margaret Landin, Secretary; Erik Cutler, Fundraising Coordinator; Joelle Bearstail, Volunteer Coordinator.

The theme of the 2017 powwow is: “Communities – Stronger, Together.”


Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate; Spirit Lake Tribe; Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation; and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.


Katt Dye-Chapin 701-221-1599,