Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Alex Ross 

Sweetgrass powwow to commemorate missing and murdered women


March 27, 2018

Montana State University-Northern’s Sweetgrass Society will kickoff the powwow season this weekend with their 42nd annual powwow in the campus Armory Gymnasium.

The first grand entry will be 7 p.m. Friday, Sweetgrass Society President Amy Murdock said. Subsequent grand entries are Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Missing and murdered indigenous women will be honored Friday night with an honor song and dance, Murdock said. People are encouraged to wear red to show solidarity with the victims.

“We want women of all ages to come and dance and wear their red dresses,” she said.

Murdock said organizers hope that Marita Growing Thunder Fogarty, founder of Save Our Sisters #MMIW Awareness, a group that raises awareness about missing and murdered indigenous women, will be at the powwow.

Fogarty joined the Sweetgrass Society in September for a walk in Havre to raise awareness of missing and indigenous women during American Indian Heritage Week at Northern.

Murdock said that despite the alarming rate at which Indigenous women go missing and are murdered, the issue often does not receive much attention in the media.

Thomas Christian of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation will be this year’s master of ceremonies, while Reese Gray of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation will be the arena director.

This year Dani Hardesty of Browning will be the Senior Ms. Sweetgrass Society, Aiyanna Goggles, also of Browning, will be Junior Ms. Sweetgrass Society and Nala Horn of Fort Belknap will be Little Ms. Sweetgrass Society.

Dance categories for males and females ages 18 to 54 and golden age dancers 55 and older are men’s fancy, traditional and grass dances and women’s jingle, fancy and traditional dances.

Junior boys and girls, teen boys and girls and tiny tots will dance the same categories.

Murdock said a chicken dance was added for men ages 18 to 54.

The Assiniboine Cree, a drum group with members from Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy’s Indian reservations, will provide music.

Murdock said this year there are not that many vendors but people can contact Sweetgrass Society Vice President Jonathan Nepoose Jr. to reserve a space.

Specials this year include:

• A men’s grass dance special in honor of Andrew Windy Boy Jr., sponsored by Zak Hoops for an amount to be determined

• A $325 Junior Fancy Dance, sponsored by Aiyanna Goggles

• A $1,000 women’s jingle, sponsored by the Horn family

• A Tiny Tot special, sponsored by Nala Horn

• The J’reece Sutherland hand drum contest Saturday during super break

The powwow is an alcohol- and drug-free event that is free and open to the public.


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