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The Kyi-Yo Pow Wow, Missoula

The Kyi-Yo Pow Wow is one of the oldest and most unifying student-organized tribal events across the nation. Typically hosted as a 2-day event towards the end of April, the Pow Wow has long been a cultural pillar at the University of Montana in Missoula.

This is a colorful affair with plenty of dancing, singing, and socializing between attendees. The annual tribal event celebrates its 54th year in 2023, marking the time for a respectful homage to the rich Native American heritage with some lively entertainment and activity.

Guide to the Kyi-Yo Pow Wow in Missoula

event first established

When was the Event First Established?

The beginnings of what is today the Kyi-Yo Pow Wow were established when a group of Native American students formed a Club at the University of Montana in the 1950s. It wasn’t until a decade or so later, that the club evolved into the formalized Pow Wow gathering known today.

This transition occurred after first being blessed by a tribal elder from the Blackfeet Tribe who gave it the name “Kyiyo”, the Blackfoot word for bear.

What Kind of Activities and Events is Featured?

activities and events

The diversity of the tribes is exhibited through their various dancing styles and the dancers’ traditional dress. The dancers take particular prominence as the celebrators and champions of their specific cultural representations.

The Pow Wow attracts attendees from across the state coming to witness the outstanding and elaborate drum and dance performances.

There are also other events and activities like a basketball tournament, and a few other youth and team events. Of course, food is in no short supply, and the guests can indulge in a banquet along with a plethora of snacks and Native delicacies.

Entry Times and Fees for the Event

The event typically kicks off on Friday evening around 7 pm and then resumes again at noon the following day.

There is a general admission price of $12.00 for a weekend pass otherwise it’s $5.00 per session. Kids under 6 years of age go in for free as do seniors of pensionable age.

The Venue for the Event

The university’s Adams Center serves as the venue for the event. The facility is the largest venue in western Montana, with arena floor space covering close to 15,000 square feet and a seating capacity of 7,500.

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