The United Tribes International Powwow in Bismarck has become an annual tradition for the Nokota® Horse Conservancy. The powwow, one of the largest in the United States, is a four-day dance and drumming competition attended by Native people from a number of tribes across the country. It’s a great opportunity for us to make connections with tribal members who are interested in the Nokotas’ history, and to meet with a number of groups that are working to restore the Natives’ once-legendary horse culture.
This year, we were helped out in manning the booth by two Dakota Sioux teenagers from the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota. Dufond Obago and Aaron Traverse, who participate in the Diamond Willow Ministry’s horsemanship program, were accompanied by Tod Wiglesworth, a ministry staff member. Also here for the powwow was Kim Hagen, from Wisconsin, who had met Frank and Shelly Kuntz at the Minnesota Horse Expo in April. She volunteered to help out, and help out she did – from putting the tent up in the midst of a high wind to selling t-shirts and greeting visitors to the booth.
Dufond had been in Linton with Tod for the colt-starting program this summer, and is a promising horseman. He, Aaron and Tod stayed with Leo Kuntz and had an opportunity to move some mares and babies between pastures on horseback before heading up to the powwow on Saturday morning. Kim was hosted by Frank and Shelly Kuntz.
We are always interested in opportunities to make connections with Native Americans and the many programs helping Indian youths through horsemanship and awareness of their own heritage. As well, we’re always happy to have volunteer help!