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  • Writer's pictureArch Gibson

ABCs of Powwows

Looking forward to the annual Last Chance Community Pow wow in Helena, MT, Oct. 1-3. If you plan on attending and have never been to a powwow, there are a few ABCs of conduct. Try for ten rules of etiquette. They can vary from one powwow to another, but the Indian Country recommendations are excellent advice.

Last year's Last Chance Community Powwow was canceled due to COVID concerns, like a lot of other events around the country. Check the Last Chance Powwow web site for the latest advisory. This year's event is still on the calendar and here's hoping Montana can keep COVID under control so the public can enjoy one of the finest events available to learn more about our indigenous cultures. It's worth it just to walk in for free and immediately be swept up in the overwhelming singing, dancing, colorful regalia, and those Indian tacos.

This year may carry some added zing with informal to formal discussion on public issues such as Critical Race Theory, federal investigation of unmarked graves at Indian boarding school sites, and the ongoing challenges of impoverishment, unemployment, kidnapping and human trafficking of women and children, Native American education, housing, health care and voting rights.

If you've never been to a powwow, just go and enjoy one of the best cultural exchanges in modern America. I'll be there; if not in Montana due to COVID, then Oklahoma. I have friends in both places and my novels are set in both as well. Come visit. I'll have a table in the vendor area of Lewis & Clark Fairgrounds, Helena, and offer a powwow savings on the Bear Kotah series.

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