Gathering of Nations: World’s Largest Native American Cultural Event
Albuquerque, NM – Last week, Albuquerque hosted the 29th annual Gathering of Nations powwow from April 26th to the 28th. Held every year, the Gathering of Nations attracts tribal dancers from all over the country, as well as curious visitors who want to experience Native American culture.
Gathering of Nations is considered one of the largest powwows in the country with an estimated 3,000 dancers and singers participating in the three day event. Activities began late Thursday evening with the Miss Indian World Talent competition taking place at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Isleta. The arena kicked off their activities on Friday, with Grand Entry taking place at noon and then at 7pm. Jakey Skye (Dine’) opened up the arena floor with Native American flute music and the Eastern Sky Ambassadors performed several traditional Iroqouis smoke dances.
Performances on Stage 49 started at 10am with the Kontiwennenhawi and Bear Fox singers, an all women singing group. Apart from traditional native music, stage 49 also featured native musicians from all genres of music.
Musical performances aside, Stage 49 was also the venue for the Miss Indian World public speaking competition. Twenty-eight Native American women represented their different tribes, competing for the title of Miss Indian World. Three of the contestants were from the Navajo Nation. Cassie Largo (Dine/ Blanding, Utah), was excited to be a part of the competition, “It’s always great to be a representative of your culture and to share your knowledge”, said Cassie.
When asked how she feels about being a being a contestant in the Miss Indian World, Cassie said she is honored to be “Ambassador to all indigenous cultures”.
Jessa Rae Growing-Thunder (Ft. Peck Assiniboine/Sioux) from Poplar, Montana, was crowned the new “Miss Indian World” on Saturday night.
The Gathering of Nations is held annually at University of New Mexico Arena, known by locals as the “The Pit”.