The Casper College Indigenous Student Alliance will host the Second Annual Casper College Traditional Powwow on Saturday, April 20, on the Casper College soccer practice field.

The event is free and open to all. The powwow will run from noon to 6 p.m., with the grand entry scheduled at noon.

The powwow will feature dancers, singers, and drum groups.

The powwow will include a tiny tot special, sweetheart special, cake walk, and hand games.

All singers and dancers are welcome to the event, and the first two drum groups will be paid, according to ISA sponsor and Casper College political science instructor Daniel Gallegos.

Deaners Littleshield will serve as master of ceremonies, and the arena is under the direction of Herman “Manny” Vasquez. War Path and Scout River will provide host drums.

All attending are asked to bring their own chairs. The soccer practice field is located at 780 College Drive.

How did it start?

The Indigenous Student Alliance started small and quickly grew to about 10 members. Casper College student Lysander Blackbird began the club. Blackbird, club president, is a two-spirit of Northern Arapahoe and Assiniboine Sioux descent. He is an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe on the Wind River Reservation.

According to Gallegos, Blackbird asked, “If the Thunderbird is the college’s mascot, is there a Native American club?” Blackbird soon discovered there was no club and started the process. “Eventually, I was approached and asked if I wanted to be their adviser, and I jumped at the opportunity,” said Gallegos.

One of the goals the club set was to have a traditional powwow on campus. “In a traditional powwow, the categories are still split up like in a contest powwow. However, dancers do not dance for prize money. They pray while they dance. They hold good intentions and thoughts for their people and family. It is also to help connect people and provide a time to socialize,” said Blackbird.

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