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Fourth annual Teton Powwow set for this weekend in Jackson

A dancer at Teton Powwow. Photo via CWC/Teton Powwow.

JACKSON, Wyo. — Central Wyoming College and Native American Jump Start will be putting on the fourth annual Teton Powwow in Jackson this weekend, the groups announced in a press release Wednesday.

The event will feature a variety of traditional dances, drumming ceremonies and Indigenous cuisine. Dances will incorporate traditional forms as well as contemporary styles. Enrolled Native college students will also have the opportunity to dance for a scholarship prize of $1,000 offered by Native American Head Start in the College Student Dance.

Munger Mountain Elementary School, just south of Jackson, will host the event this Saturday, May 18. The location, new for this year, will allow the powwow to take place outdoors in line with traditional summer powwow events.

A Ground Blessing will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, with Grand Entry scheduled for noon. Spectators and participants are advised to dress for the weather and bring their own chairs for the event.

The land of Jackson Hole is part of ancestral lands of the Blackfoot, Crow, Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho and others, who began inhabiting the area as early as 11,000 years ago to trade and gather resources.

“At the Powwow, the drums and dancers celebrate a tradition that transcends time, honoring and reaffirming the richness of our tribal culture,” said Ivan Posey, Central Wyoming College’s Tribal Education coordinator and director of the Institute of Tribal Learning. Posey is a member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe.

Many notable dancers will be in attendance at the powwow, including hoop dancer Amya Whispering Rain Whelan of the Wind River Indian Reservation and Head Man Dancer Joseph Pratt from Oklahoma and Head Lady Dancer April Kaulity, also from Wind River.

The Tribal Wisdom Society of Central Wyoming College will be hosting a free cultural presentation the day before the powwow, May 17, at the Center For the Arts Theater at the college from 10 a.m. to noon.

For powwow spectators on Saturday, admission is $15 a car for non-native spectators. Entrance for Indigenous people is free.