The 2001 Milk River Indian Days at Fort Belknap get going Friday.
The action starts about 1 p.m. Friday with the annual parade from the agency along U.S. Highway 2 and Montana Highway 66 to the powwow grounds at Half Town. The first intertribal grand entry featuring dancers from all categories and the presentation of flags, eagle feather, royalty, honorees and prayers is at 6 p.m.
Subsequent grand entries are Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. and again at 6 p.m.
Master of ceremonies for the event at the New Town powwow grounds just south of Fort Belknap Agency along Montana Highway 66 is Wallace Coffey. Arena directors are Reese Gray and Justin White Clay.
Invited drums this year are Big Bear Singers of Turtleford, Saskatchewan, and Porcupine Singers from Porcupine, S.D. Host drums are Fort Belknap Singers, White Clay, Gray Boy, Hays Singers and Red Paint Creek Singers.
Milk River Dance Committee members are Tracy King, men's flag bearer; Shayla Main, women's flag bearer; Julie King Kulbeck, secretary and treasurer; Dominic Messerly, drum keeper; Catcher CutsTheRope, whip man; Sam Azure, whip man; Rosella Birdtail, spoonkeeper; Olivia Main, princess; Vina Healy, junior princess; Amy Stiffarm, princess attendant.
Milk River Dance Committee categories and payouts are:
Men and women Crow styles $800 for first, $600 for second and $400 for third;
Teen boys and girls $200 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third;
Junior boys and girls $150 for first, $100 for second and $75 for third.
Sponsored specials include:
Men's Traditional $1,000, sponsored by Tracy King and Julie King Kulbeck;
Chicken Dance special $2,500, sponsored by Shayla Main family;
Men's Traditional Prizes to be announced, in honor of Rusty Shortman, sponsored by family and friends of Rusty;
Women's Traditional Prizes to be announced money and horse, sponsored by Catcher CutsTheRope;
Singing Contest Prizes to be announced, sponsored by Dominic Messerly;
Teen Girls Jingle Dress $300 for first, $200 for second and $100 for third, sponsored by Olivia Main;
Irvin "Never Grows Old" Flying Dance and Give Away special (50 and over) $1,000 money split evenly for five places, sponsored by Joe and Roberta Big Knife family;
Chicken Dance special Prizes to be announced, sponsored by Sam Azure;
Women's Fancy Shawl Dance $500 for first, $300 for second and $100 for third, sponsored by Jenny Doney in honor of Jackie Blackbird;
Teen Girls Fancy Prizes to be announced, sponsored by Vina Healy;
Junior Girls Fancy Shawl (ages 6-12) $500, sponsored by Amy Stiffarm family.
Nee Wah's Run Saturday morning, sponsored annually by George and Nancy Stiffarm, gets people up early with one mile and 5K runs, jogs or walks. Race day registration begins about 7:30 a.m. with the starting gun expected to go off about 10 a.m. Participants are trucked to the starting line, so should arrive and sign in early.