2012 Contest Powwow to shine spotlight on youth dancers

07.30.2012 Dean Rhodes Culture, Entertainment, Events

If you go

2012 Grand Ronde Contest Powwow

When: Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19. Grand entries at 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Uyxat Powwow Grounds off Hebo Road just north of the Highway 18 intersection.

Cost: Parking and camping are both free.

More info: Contact Dana Leno-Ainam at 503 879-2037 or e-mail at

The success of recent intertribal powwows for children, coordinated by longtime Royalty member Halona Butler and Washie Squetimkin (Colville), will show up at this summer's Contest Powwow as "a whole new revitalization for our young people," said Dana Leno-Ainam, primary organizer for the powwow and a member of the Powwow Special Event Board.

"Many will be out at powwow for the first time," she said, because "young people are understanding powwow and wanting to be involved with regalia and through dance."

This year's event, set for Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19, at Uyxat Powwow Grounds in Grand Ronde, features $35,000 in prize money contributed by Tribal Council, the annual parade, two host drums, three dance specials, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, by-donation breakfasts and dinners, as well as craft and food vendors.

Shuttle service will be available all weekend to and from Spirit Mountain Casino and Tribal government offices.

Master of ceremonies will be Fred Hill (Umatilla), arena director will be Fred Ike Jr. (Yakama) and head judge will be Sidrick Baker.

The Royalty pageant and coronation will take place 5 p.m. Friday.Grand entries are set for 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m and 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The annual Powwow Parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Fort Yamhill State Park, down the hill to the Powwow Grounds and back.

Host drums will be Blacklodge from the Yakama Tribal area and The Boyz, a midwestern drum. Blacklodge has long been a participant and supporter of the Grand Ronde Contest Powwow and The Boyz are new this year.

Contest categories are the same as last year, with six dances in each category; three for men, three for women. The categories for men are traditional, grass and fancy. The categories for women are traditional, jingle and fancy shawl. Age divisions are junior (6-12), teen (13-17), adult (18-49) and golden age (50+)

This year's dance specials include a Men's and Women's Fancy and a Men's Round Bustle dance.

The basketball tournament, sponsored by Youth Education, will be held on Saturday in the parking lot in front of the Tribal plankhouse. The tournament is open to all middle and high school youth, with check-in Friday from 7 to 8 p.m., and games starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. A dunk contest and a 3-point shootout also will be held on Saturday afternoon. Registration deadline is Aug. 17.

As always, Tribal Food Services Coordinator Kristy DeLoe will organize breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday, dinner on Saturday night and lunch on Sunday afternoon, all offered with donation requested.

Some 50 craft vendors and 15 food vendors, including traditional fry bread from Tribal Elders Margaret Provost and Claudia Leno, will serve crowds estimated for the weekend at 10,000 to 15,000.