Powwows are a great way to experience Native American culture
Powwows are a great way to experience Native American culture

North Dakota Rodeos and Powwows

Experience two key North Dakota cultural traditions

Rodeos and powwows are important parts of North Dakota culture.

Eight seconds seems so long when you're watching a cowboy hang on for dear life. From national professional events to local high school competitions, rodeo isn't just a sport in North Dakota, it's a feel-the-dirt-in-your-teeth way of life. 

The Algonquin word "pau wau" was the Native American word some of the first Europeans associated with dancing. Although pau wau meant "he dreams" to the Algonquins, the term was eventually accepted by Europeans to refer to dancing, later being spelled "powwow." 

Powwows were originally held in the springtime to celebrate the beginning of new life, but are now held throughout the year. The celebrations often have religious significance, but are also a time for people to gather, sing, dance, feast, pray, renew old friendships and make new ones. These celebrations are still an important part of life for many American Indians.

North Dakota Rodeos 2014

Here are some of the larger rodeos in North Dakota in 2014:

Fargo PRCA Rodeo, Fargodome, March 28-29: Indoor professional rodeo.

North Dakota Rodeo Association Badlands Rodeo, Medora, June 6-7: Full rodeo in the beautiful Badlands.

North Dakota High School Finals Rodeo, Bowman, June 13-15. Top high school athletes compete for a trip to the national finals.

Roughrider Days Fair and Expo Rodeo, Dickinson, June 27-29. Rodeo, live music, Fourth of July parade and more.

Mandan Rodeo Days, Mandan, July 2-4: Professional rodeo, parades, music, street dances and, July 4 fireworks.

Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo, Killdeer, July 3-4: Oldest PRCA rodeo in North Dakota, celebrating 87th year. Also street dances and parade.

McKenzie County Fair Rodeo, July 10-12, Watford City. Rodeo is part of the larger celebration.

Morton County Fair Rodeo, July 31-August 2, New Salem. Rodeo is part of the larger celebration.

Hettinger Chamber Bull-A-Rama and Rodeo, Hettinger, August 2: Held in conjunction with Adams County Fair.

58th Annual Champions Ride Rodeo, Sentinel Butte, August 2: Showdown between 20 of the top professional saddle bronc riders.

Ashley Rodeo, August 2-3, Ashley.

North Dakota Rodeo Association Finals, Watford City, September 12-13: Crowning of year-end champions in all events.

Roughrider Rodeo Association Finals, Jamestown, September 26-28: Year-end championship event for this North Dakota circuit.

Lake Region Rodeo, September 27-28, Devils Lake.

Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, Minot, October 9-12: Also known at the Minot Y's Men's Rodeo. Champions in the PRCA's Badlands Circuit will be crowned.

North Dakota Powwows 2014

Here is a listing of Native American powwows scheduled for North Dakota in 2014:

UNDIA Powwow, Grand Forks, April 8-10

Four Bears Community Powwow, New Town, May 22-25

Flag Day Celebration Wacipi, Cannon Ball, June 13-15


Arikara Celebration, White Shield, June 21-23

Twin Buttes Powwow, Twin Buttes, June 14-16

Paha Yamini Wacipy, Shields, June 20-22

Arikara Celebration, White Shield, July 11-13

Mandaree Celebration, Mandaree, July 18-20

Fort Totten Days, Fort Totten, July 25-27

Long Soldier Wacipi, Fort Yates, August 1-3

Little Shell Celebration, New Town, August 8-10

United Tribes International Powwow, Bismarck, September 4-7. One of the premier cultural events in North Dakota. The powwow draws more than 1,500 dancers and drummers from 70 tribes and attracts more than 20,000 spectators.



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