The Northern Arapaho Powwow celebrates 75 years of singing and dancing

The Northern Arapaho Powwow celebrates togetherness, friendship and tradition
Dancers preform in their regalia at the Northern Arapaho Powwow.
Dancers preform in their regalia at the Northern Arapaho Powwow.(KCWY)
Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 7:12 PM CDT
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RIVERTON, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Northern Arapaho Powwow is the longest running powwow in the state of Wyoming, and folks come from all over to take part in the celebration. At the Northern Arapaho Powwow everyone is welcome.

Teresa His Chase is a member of the Northern Arapaho Business Council. She says, “People come from all of the surrounding states and it’s just a wonderful time to celebrate our culture and our traditions.”

This event honors the relationships between tribes in the region as well as long standing traditions.

Liz Salway, one of the event coordinators, says, “For as long as Native Americans have been around we’ve always singed and danced. It’s just a continued tradition.”

Luke Bell is the president of the Northern Arapaho Powwow Committee. He says, “It’s just a continued tradition of who we are, to let people know that we’re still alive, we’re still here. We’re still here existing amongst the people, amongst the world, and we’re still going to be here for many, many years.”

Bell says to showcase their singing, dancing and regalia comes from the heart and soul of who they are as people.

He says, “That’s what it’s all about is bringing that enjoyment, that power, that feeling of happiness and coming together. That’s all what a powwow is about is celebrating who we are as a tribe and community, and bringing it together for every visitor to enjoy themselves.”

One of the most important aspects of the Northern Arapaho Powwow is passing cultural traditions from elders to youth. This is an opportunity for future tribal leaders to gain cultural knowledge, learn traditional symbols and dances, create regalia and more.

His Chase says, “We view our children as sacred and holy. We respect our children and so we always try our best to bring them up in a positive light. Seeing them here dancing to our songs, enjoying themselves, it just brings me joy and also hope for the future.”

Although singing and dancing are the main attractions of the powwow, visitors can also enjoy traditional foods, shop from local vendors and artisans, and more.

The powwow will continue through Sunday evening at the Northern Arapaho Powwow grounds on the Wind River Reservation.