As Nevada plans to celebrate its birthday this weekend, the Nevada Day Powwow aims to highlight the heritage that helped shape the state. While it will feature American Indian dancers from across the country and Canada, it will encompass more than native traditions.
“Our powwow has become a lot more multicultural,” said organizer Martin Montgomery of the Red Hoop Singers. “Because it’s over the Nevada Day weekend, we want to highlight a lot of the different cultures that make up Nevada and make it a great place to live.”
Formerly known as the La Ka Lel Be Powwow, it has been held over the Nevada Day weekend for the past 37 years. For the second year in a row, it will be at the MAC, next to the Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada, on Friday through Sunday. A traditional La Ka Lel Be Powwow also will take place in the Carson Colony Gym.
“We want it to be the biggest powwow in Nevada and one of the biggest events on Nevada Day,” Montgomery said. “Our main goal is to be the event to come see.”
The powwow will be a celebration of song and dance, as well as the traditional gambling hand game and a horseshoe tournament. A bowling tournament will also take place at the nearby Gold Dust West Bowling Center.
Songs are performed in English and well as native languages, and guests can dance Native American style during intertribal songs.
“There’s a lot of customs we can share and learn from each other,” Montgomery said. “By being respectful of one another, we can learn other people’s beliefs and bridge misunderstandings.”
Vendors will be selling arts and crafts as well as a variety of food, including the traditional Indian tacos, barbecue and even poutine from a Canadian booth.
The horseshoe tournament is open to all; entry is $10 a person.
Teams of two may register together, or a pair will be found for single participants.
Montgomery said people are welcome to participate as much or as little as they’d like.
“It’s always good to learn something about each other, our neighbors,” he said.
For more information, follow the Nevada Day Powwow Facebook page.