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UMN Morris Circle of Nations Indigenous Association powwow returns to Morris following two-year hiatus

After taking a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UMN Morris Circle of Nations Indigenous Association hosted its 37th annual powwow on the University of Minnesota Morris campus Saturday, April 2, 2022.

Mike Peters, at right, aids in attaching son Pata Peter's headdress at the start of the UMN Morris Circle of Nations Indigenous Association 37th annual powwow on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Mike Peters, at right, aids in attaching son Pata Peter's headdress at the start of the UMN Morris Circle of Nations Indigenous Association 37th annual powwow on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

MORRIS — The concrete brick walls of the Cougar Sports Center reverberated with the sounds of beating drums and chants at the University of Minnesota Morris campus Saturday afternoon.

The moment was momentous — it was the first time the Circle of Nations Indigenous Association brought its annual powwow back to the university following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CNIA's annual powwow — this year marked the 37th such event — brought Native Americans from beyond state lines to congregate together once again. Attendees dressed in their very best vibrant traditional clothing before dancing the afternoon away with friends and family.

The annual event "celebrates the social and cultural ties American Indian students have with Native communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota," according to a news release from the university.

A dancer moves across the gymnasium floor at the UMN Morris Circle of Nations Indigenous Association 37th Annual Powwow on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
A dancer moves across the gymnasium floor at the UMN Morris Circle of Nations Indigenous Association 37th annual powwow on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
The University of Minnesota Morris Circle of Nations Indigenous Association hosted its 37th annual powwow Saturday, April 2, 2022, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contest-style powwow featured various categories in which dancers could compete, varying from age-specific contests to traditional, jingle, fancy and grass dances. Three additional contests included woodland dance, a hand drum contest and a potato dance.

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The master of ceremonies for this year's event was Ronny Goodeagle, Jr. Gabe Desrosiers served as arena director, Freddie Gipp as head judge, and Iron Boy as host drum. The Sisseton Vietnam Veterans Society served as the honor guard.

Father Travis Herrick, at left, jokes around with daughter Zarrah Herrick, 4, before a children's dance begins at the UMN Morris Circle of Nations Indigenous Association 37th Annual Powwow on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Travis Herrick, at left, jokes around with daughter Zarrah Herrick, 4, before a children's dance begins at the UMN Morris Circle of Nations Indigenous Association 37th annual powwow on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Macy Moore is an award-winning photojournalist at the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minnesota.
She can be reached via email: mmoore@wctrib.com or phone: 320.214.4338.
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