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Kyiyo Powwow returns to Missoula

Kyiyo Powwow.jpg
Posted at 8:27 AM, Apr 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-24 14:41:01-04

MISSOULA - The Kyiyo Powwow returned in-person for the first time since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

The dancing, drums and celebrations kicked off the powwow on Friday at 7 p.m. and continued through Saturday.

This is the 53rd annual Kyiyo Powwow, making it one of the longest running student-run powwows in the country. The University of Montana hosted the event in the Adam’s Center, where hundreds gathered to participate.

“I always thought it was fun and like, you just move fast and it's always like a competition with the drum too,” said Neil Medicine Bull, A Fancy Dancer competing at the Kyiyo Powwow, when asked why he likes competing.

His mom and former Jingle dancer, Kay Medicine Bull, said powwows are a family affair. And she is thankful for how powwows bring their family together.

“I'm so thankful for powwow because it keeps my kids you know, drug and alcohol-free," said Kay Medicine Bull. "It keeps them away from gaming. It keeps them active. It was fun with going to Powwow, and kind of, representing your tribe and who you are."

The powwow helps cultivate community.

“I think it creates a community that isn't always well seen," said Sierra Paske, Kyiyo Native American Student Association vice president. "I love to just think of it as a celebration.”