Thursday, February 6, 2020

A&E: Plenty of Powwows & the World Championship Hoop Contest This Weekend

By Rich Tupica - February 06, 2020 at 12:01AM

The Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow happens this weekend in Hollywood. Fla. (Courtesy photo)

Published Feb. 6, 2020

Welcome to Native News Online’s weekly column highlighting arts, entertainment and cultural events taking place all across Indian Country. Every Thursday morning, we’re delivering a round-up of festivities you might want to check out, if they’re happening in your area or if you’re traveling. 

Today, we look at a plethora of powwows happening across the map, and the World Championship Hoop Contest.


Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow
Friday-Sunday, Feb. 7-9, 2020
Hollywood, Florida

The Seminole Tribe of Florida hosts its annual celebration of Native culture and arts this weekend in Hollywood, Fla. For participants looking to stay the night, primitive camping facilities will be available for Pow Wow participants and vendors.

Along with a Sunday concert, the event will feature alligator wrestling, wildlife shows, and a drumming competition. Also, exhibition dancing will also be performed throughout the weekend.

According to its website, the annual Pow Wow is about “meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones,” while also preserving the rich heritage and culture of American Indians.


30th Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest
Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 8-9, 2020
Phoenix, Arizona

The World Championship Hoop Dance annual, hosted by the Heard Museum, celebrates its 30th year this weekend in Phoenix. The two-day event, which runs Friday and Saturday, features more than 80 competitors in five age groups from the U.S. and Canada—men and women compete on an equal field. The contestants, which comprise some of the top dancers in the world, may use dozens of hoops in this unique dance. Up for grabs is the prestigious World Champion title and cash prizes.

The art of hoop dance honors the cultural traditions from multiple Indigenous communities that first employed hoop dance as a healing ceremony. Today, hoop dance is shared as an artistic expression to celebrate and honor Indigenous traditions throughout the U.S. and Canada.

According to its site: Dancers are judged on a slate of five skills: precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativity and speed. Contestants compete in one of five divisions: Tiny Tots (age 5 and younger), Youth (6-12), Teen (13-17), Adult (18-39) and Senior (40 and older). For more rules, visit their site.

This is an outdoor event and will go on rain or shine. Lawn seating only. Organizers recommend bringing folding chairs or blankets. Outside food and beverages (excluding water bottles) may not be brought into this event.

As for the Heard Museum, since its founding in 1929, it has grown in size and stature to become recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, world-class exhibitions, educational programming and its unmatched festivals. Dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art, the Heard successfully presents the stories of American Indian people from a first-person perspective, as well as exhibitions that showcase the beauty and vitality of traditional and contemporary art.


BAAITS 9th Annual Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirit Powwow
San Francisco, California
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020
@ The Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason- 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco
11-6 p.m., FREE
Grand Entry at Noon.

Powwows are traditional, Inter-tribal events that promote community togetherness, healing, and wellness—and this tradition continues Saturday in San Francisco with the return of the Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits (BAAITS) 9th Annual Two-Spirit Powwow in Yelamu (San Francisco), the traditional homelands of the Ohlone peoples.

This year, the Powwow will also honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

According to a statement from its organizers, “The Two-Spirit powwow is held each year to help decolonize our communities and realign with Native traditions of togetherness, seeing strength in our differences, and accepting all genders and sexualities. Our Two-Spirit Powwow embraces Native traditions while also providing a uniquely San Francisco experience.”

The free annual event, which drew more than 5,000 people last year, celebrates with plenty of traditional dance, arts and food. Head Dancers are Beverly Little Thunder and Erik Ramon. MCs are L Frank Manriquez and Coy McLemore.

To support the cause, click here to make a tax-deductible donation.


Conestoga College 10th Annual Traditional Pow Wow
Saturday, Feb. 8
Kitchener, Ontario – Canada
@ Conestoga College, Doon campus, 299 Doon Valley Drive, Recreation Centre
General admission: $5
Kids 5-and-under: FREE
Students: FREE, with ID
10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Experience Aboriginal culture with Conestoga’s Aboriginal Services at the 10th Annual Traditional Pow Wow. All are welcome to come and experience Canada’s beautiful Aboriginal cultures, and take in the many attractions, including plenty of drumming, singing and dancing. Along with that, are artisans and craft vendors, traditional foods, and sacred fire. Donations of non-perishable food and hygiene products are encouraged. For more, visit this link. 

Editor’s Note: If you have an upcoming arts event or powwow you want share with Native News Online readers, please send information in advance to Rich Tupica at:

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