The Indian Nations Powwow will be held Sept. 24-26 at Friendship Hall on the Montrose County Fairgrounds, said organizer Shirley Bradbury. She said the Delta celebration of Indian culture was canceled due to lack of funds.
Bradbury said Roland McCook, grandson of Southern Ute Chief Ouray, and C.J. Brafford, director of the Ute Indian Museum, are organizing the event, and have been promoting it at other powwows.
Some volunteers from the Delta powwow have offered help in Montrose, but many more volunteers are needed, Bradbury said.
“We know that in the past the Delta powwow got between 5,000 and 6,000 people per event, but we don’t expect that many,” she said, “but we need your help.”
The Delta powwow concentrated on the heritage of the Southern and Northern Ute tribes, she said, but the Montrose powwow will honor all Indian nations.
“We are specifically calling this an all nations powwow and are inviting tribes from everywhere, but mostly the Midwest and Plains tribes,” Bradbury said.
More vendors are also needed, she said.
“We will have an Indian Market where the vendor needs to have a tribal affiliation, and goods can be commercial or handmade,” she said. “For non-Indians, we’ll have typical vendors with not a lot of restrictions – anyone with arts and crafts. The powwow will not accept vendors that promote alcohol or medical marijuana clinics, she added.
The powwow will open on Friday, Sept. 24 with vendor and drum and dance contestants’ registration. At 4 p.m., a demonstration of gourd dancing will take place; at 6 p.m., the powwow’s Grand Entry will take place, with an “Introduction of Royalty” followed by a dancing contest.
More drum and dance contests and other events will be held throughout the festival, which ends Sunday, Sept. 26, at 1 p.m., with the announcement of contest winners.
Historically, a powwow was a time when Native American leaders would negotiate with the U.S. government, Bradbury said, but it is also a celebration of traditional song and dance and renewing old friendships.
“Many people said they were so disappointed that Delta is not doing it this year, but we’re happy to step in and fill that gap and hope this will be an annual event,” Bradbury said. “Delta does a good job, but we’d like to also have a Montrose powwow.”
To volunteer, call Bradbury at 249-5889.