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Standing Arrow Powwow showcases tribal traditions

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ELMO — The Standing Arrow Powwow broke in its new dance arbor, concession stands and vendor areas during the powwow on July 16, 17 and 18. 

About 400 dancers and their families attended the powwow on the shores of Flathead Lake, always a good place to be on a hot July day. Grand entries were at 7 p.m. on both July 16 and 17 and at 1 p.m. on both July 17 and 18. 

Parade chair Alvina Tenas had 130 entries signed up for the parade through Elmo at 11 a.m. on July 17. Leading the parade was a float with former War Dance Chief Matt Buckskin Michel and his wife Louise and current War Dance Chief Wilbert Michel accompanied by his wife Bev. Also on the float was host drum Chief Cliff Singers. Powwow royalty from all over the northwest, dancers and horseback riders also participated in the parade.   

With $18,500 in prize money for the drum contest, 16 drums signed up and provided music for the powwow. Drums included Young Grey Horse, Chief Cliff, MidNite Express, Ship Rock Agency, North Crow Creek, Mojo, Parker Dam, Northern Coyotes, Sunrise, Native Heart, Chippewa Cree, Black Lake, N’Kwusm, Bear Spirit, Grasshopper Flats, Belknap Boyz and Starr Society.

Dancers and powwow attendees could get frybread, Willie burgers, pizza, stirfry and corn on the cob to fuel their tanks in between dances.

With Navajo burgers and Navajo tacos on their menu, the Dine Café was a popular place to eat. Dex Bennett and his family from Tuba City, Ariz., operated the café. They were packing up on Monday morning to head to Post Falls, Idaho, for the next powwow on Thursday as the summer powwow trail continued on its way after a stop in Elmo.


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