Standing Arrow Powwow begins Thursday in Elmo

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For folks from out of the area and as a gentle reminder to locals, the third weekend in July the Kootenai nation hosts the Standing Arrow Powwow in Elmo, Montana.

This year the powwow begins on July 17 with a new event called Strengthen My Nation Youth Day On July 17. Pearl Yellowman, from Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Health, is in charge of the event and said there will be positive activities for kids as they transition into the powwow weekend.

Strengthen My Nation Youth Day is way to bring the community together with drug and alcohol free activities, such as basketball, Yellowman said.

Elmo is a community that is trying to get back on the healthy track and is a very culturally rich community.

The fun begins at 11 a.m. and there will be potluck barbecue so Yellowman invited the community to come and bring a dish to share.

Tribal health social services will be available to provide information on what they offer. There will be native games and Kootenai language as well as other activities, Yellowman added.

This year the Standing Arrow Powwow will be in honor of Laurence Kenmille, a local man who was murdered last year.

The first grand entry of the powwow will be at 7 p.m. on July 18. Grand entries on July 19 will be at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and on Sunday, July 20 at 2 p.m.

Powwow emcee will be Jordan Stasso and Eddie Spears, a Lower Brule Lakota actor, according to Erica Shelby, who’s one of the organizers of the Standing Arrow Powwow.

The host drum is Chief Cliff, and the visiting host drum will be Dry Lake Singers from Fort Belknap.

Head man is Wilbert Michel, and Suzie Antiste is head woman. Shelby said a team dance special, with four person teams is scheduled for Saturday night. During the powwow, committee special dances will be announced.

Shelby also said it isn’t too late if someone would like to donate or sponsor a special.

Along with drumming and dancing, the Standing Arrow Powwow also has a stick game tournament. It also features the 3rd annual Leila Morning Star Perez Memorial Softball Tournament played by 10-person coed team, Shelby said.

The powwow parade will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday morning before the powwow at 1 pm. As well as a Miss Kootenai contest, Shelby said the committee added a Mr. Kootenai Warrior category for young men from 6 to 18 years old.

As always, Shelby said there would be tipi poles, firewood and showers for campers. For people craving an Indian taco or some frybread and chokecherry jelly, there will be lots of food vendors.

Merchandise venders wlll offer jewelry, beads, clothing and other items, Shelby said.