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Published March 18 2012

Woodlands and High Plains Powwow recognizes local graduates

FARGO – For the 23rd consecutive year, Native American college graduates from local schools will be recognized at the Woodlands and High Plains Powwow.

“It’s our annual celebration,” said Prairie Rose Seminole, chairwoman of the event’s organizing committee. “We do this to honor our graduates, and just to say thanks to our local campuses.”

The powwow is from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Bison Sports Arena. About 70 graduates will be honored, plus high school graduates. About 2,000 people are expected to attend.

Seminole, who’s been involved with the event for more than a decade, said marking major accomplishments, such as graduation, with celebrations like the powwow is an important part of Native culture.

“We celebrate all of our milestones in our lives,” she said. “We like to recognize those things.”

The powwow will feature grand entries by a procession of dancers at 1 and 7 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m.

There will also be an honor guard to honor military veterans, a variety of dance and drum songs from area tribes and vendors selling their wares.

“Powwows are social events, and it’s really about connecting the community to its larger self,” Seminole said.

Between 100 and 150 volunteers will contribute to the event. Doors open to the public and for dancers and drums to register at 11 a.m.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502