UND’s 50th Time Out Wacipi Celebrates Indigenous Culture – Grand Forks Herald
GRAND FORKS – Kya Jo Smith, 10, sat patiently as her aunt carefully braided her hair in preparation for her lap dance at the 50th annual Time Out Wacipi, sponsored by the Department of Diversity and Inclusion UND students, on Saturday April 9 at the UND Hyslop Sports Center.
As the afternoon wore on, the facility began to fill with Aboriginal people dressed in all sorts of colorful pageantry, including women and girls in “bell dresses,” scalloped in rows horizontal lines of metal cones that tinkled as they walked.
Kya Jo, who was selected as White Earth Princess, was preparing to dance in the Fancy Shawl category. In her role, she tries “to attend as many powwows as possible,” she said. She loves the feeling she gets while dancing.
Among her duties as princess was “serving food to elders”, she said. She also aims to be “a good role model” at her elementary school in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and enjoys representing the White Earth Nation, Kya Jo said.
Her mother, Julie Smith Yliniemi of the White Earth Nation, said the powwow “really connects our family to our community. It’s social; you see people you don’t see every day.
She was dancing in the Women’s Jingle category at the powwow, she said, but not in competition. “It’s a healing dance; it is an opportunity to heal yourself and your community. It’s an honor to be able to dance.
In the competition, judges rate dancers “on footwork, badges, pacing — or stopping on time, and how you present yourself,” she said. But “you don’t have to compete; you can come and dance.
Yliniemi, who holds a master’s degree in public health and a doctorate in counseling education, has just joined the medical school at UND, where she will teach in the new doctoral program in indigenous health and serve as director community awareness and engagement.
She was excited to visit the school on Saturday and show her children where she will be working, she said. “It’s good for them to see Native Americans in education.”
Another dancer, Dillian Whitefeather, 17, of Ponehmah, Minnesota, a member of the Ojibwe tribe, was waiting to dance in the Teen Grass category. He’s been dancing at powwows for three years, he said. His grandfather gave him the badges he wore at today’s competition.
Dillian loves competition, he said, because “it’s really good training, and you get to see other good dancers and meet new people.”
His grandfather, Lee Whitefeather, 73, of the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota, delivered the invocation in his native language from the stage as the powwow began.
Dressed in all the tribal regalia honoring the heritage of his people, the elder Whitefeather prepared to dance in the Grass category. He had attended that powwow three years ago, he said. “I have been dancing for almost 50 years.
Back after a two-year hiatus
The Time Out Wacipi event has resurfaced, after being canceled in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic.
“After two years of social distancing and isolation, it’s wonderful to be back together,” said Don Warne, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion and director of the Indians Into Medicine program at the faculty of UND medicine.
“A lot of people have been looking forward to this for a long time,” said Warne, who was among dignitaries including UND President Andrew and Kathy Armacost and military veterans, who led the procession of dancers downstairs. pavement.
They were preceded by the “eagle staff” – traditionally the first emblem of a powwow procession – followed by the American flag, then flags representing Native American nations. Veterans also carried flags, said event organizer Keith Malaterry.
The stage, awash in the vibrant colors of the dancers’ badges; many wore headdresses made of intricate beads, a fan of feathers, or buffalo horns. The hall resounded with the rhythmic rhythm of drums and native songs.
Sixteen drum groups, including the host group, Midnite Express, participated in the event, along with more than 250 dancers, said Malaterry, who is an American Indian success specialist with the Department of Diversity and inclusion of UND students.
Being able to hold Time Out Wacipi on campus again is “awesome,” said Malaterry, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. “We are so excited and really happy with the turnout we have here.”
Dancers traveled from Minnesota, Montana and all of Dakota, as well as Saskatchewan, the Canadian province, to participate, he said. “We’re a contest powwow; dancers compete for prize money.
A series of vendors lined the perimeter of the center of the event, displaying and selling a range of handcrafted items including jewelry, clothing, quilts and artwork.