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Theda New Breast is seen at one of the last Kyiyo celebrations before COVID-19. This year, the University of Montana Kyiyo Powwow will be held on campus Friday, April 22, through Saturday, April 23, in the Adams Center.

One of the nation’s oldest student-run powwows and a beloved University of Montana tradition, the Kyiyo Powwow, will be held on campus Friday, April 22, through Saturday, April 23, in the Adams Center. Unifying Native Americans from across the nation and Montana, the annual celebration preserves the rich heritage of tribes and cultures while renewing old traditions.

Now in its 53rd year, the powwow will feature Native singing, dancing, story sharing and events. The last two years, the powwow has been cancelled altogether, or held virtually, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sierra Paske, a graduate student in chemistry and Kyiyo vice president, said the return of the in-person Kyiyo Pow Wow is a meaningful event.

“Hosting Kyiyo in person again means so much, not only to those who have attended Kyiyo in the past but to those who have yet to experience it,” Paske said. “The joy and celebration of the Kyiyo Powwow can only be fully experienced in person, and we are excited to bring this event back to the campus and the community. We hope everyone is able to partake in the enjoyment Kyiyo provides after so long apart.” 

Last year, UM President Seth Bodnar established an endowment of $300,000 to support the powwow with the gift, named after the late Blackfeet Chief Earl Old Person. Investment proceeds from the endowment have yet to be generated, though the endowment will offset costs for the powwow in the future.

Grand Entry times are 7 p.m. on Friday, April 22, and noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 23. Admission prices for children 6 and under and seniors over 65 are free. General admission is $5 for a session or $12 for a weekend pass.

2022 Kyiyo Royalty

Miss Kyiyo: Lynell Shepherd.

Jr. Miss Kyiyo: Michelle Wolfchild.

Little Miss Kyiyo: Miyoskahim “Minnie” Whitford.

2022 Kyiyo head staff

Master of Ceremony: Tommy Christian and Ruben Little Head.

Head Man: Shawn White Grass.

Head Woman: Cailei Cummins.

Arena Director: Devan Kicknosway.

Head Drum Judge: Chontay Standing Rock Mitchell.

Head Dance Judge: Jeremy Shield.

Host Drum: Black Lodge.

For questions about specials, entries or for special requests email Kyiyo@umontana.edu.

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