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Ronan student among royalty at Last Chance Community Pow Wow

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News from Darcy O’Dell

HELENA — The Last Chance Community Pow Wow is honored to have a Ronan student as part of the royalty of the 24th annual Last Chance Community Pow Wow being held Sept. 29 – Oct.1 at the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall in Helena.

Juniper First Strike, Jr., Miss Last Chance Princess 2022-2023, is affiliated with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe and the Blackfoot Nation. She resides on the Flathead Reservation in Ronan.  Juniper is 10 years old, an accomplished Jr. Girls Fancy Shawl dancer, and daughter of Maria and Mervyn Camel and Rodney First Strike.

The Pow Wow is also honored to have Eagle Whistle, of Ronan, as the Host Drum. The lead drummers are Walter Runsabove and Lloyd Irvine.

The 24th annual Last Chance Community Pow Wow in Helena kicks off with a spectacular display of Native drumming, dancing, food, crafts, and fun on Friday, Sept. 29, at the Exhibit Hall, Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds. Native Drum Groups at the pow wow will provide powerful music for dancers, in traditional regalia, from all over Montana, the northwestern US, and Canada. 

The theme of the Pow Wow is “Honor the Children.” One of our missions is to help teach our youth the many traditions of Native American culture and to share this with their peers to create a better understanding between Native and non-Natives. Children are involved in all our functions which includes drumming, singing, dancing, regalia making, and fundraising. It is important for the youth to participate in cultural activities so they stay in touch with their heritage and can share with others and pass the traditions on to their children.  Children are the light and future of the Native culture.

Beginning Friday evening at 6 p.m., the Last Chance Community Pow Wow celebration officially kicks off when the dancers enter the arena during Grand Entry. Grand Entry is a colorful display of young and old dressed in traditional regalia, dancing to the “heartbeat” of the drum.  Grand Entry is a must see! Each Grand Entry is followed by intertribal and competition dancing.  

Saturday’s schedule will include two sessions. The afternoon session starts at noon and the evening session at 6 p.m. The final session will start at noon on Sunday. Winners of the dancing categories will be announced on Sunday at the end of the final session.  

Vendors will line the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, selling Native American arts and crafts. Our famous Frybread, Pow Wow Indian Tacos, soft drinks and many other items will be available at our concessions stand.

The Last Chance Community Pow Wow invites and welcomes everyone to this free community event. Don’t forget, there will be round dances and intertribal dances that are open for all to dance in the circle.

For more information, call 406-439-5631, email:, visit our website at:, or like us on Facebook.

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