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 2015

Here are some of the larger rodeos in North Dakota in 2015:

North Dakota Junior High Rodeo Association State Finals, Bismarck, May 22-23.

Medora Badlands ND Rodeo Association Rodeo, Medora, June 5-6: Full rodeo in the beautiful Badlands.

North Dakota High School Finals Rodeo, Bowman, June 11-14. Top high school athletes compete for a trip to the national finals.

Roughrider Days Fair and Expo Rodeo, Dickinson, July 2-4. 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. Also street dances and parade.

Fort Ransom 4th of July Rodeo, Fort Ransom, July 3-4.

Morton County Fair Rodeo, July 30-August 2, New Salem. Rodeo is part of the larger celebration.

Hettinger Chamber Bull-A-Rama and Rodeo, Hettinger, August 1: Held in conjunction with Adams County Fair.

59th Annual Champions Ride Rodeo, Sentinel Butte, August 1: Showdown between 20 of the top professional saddle bronc riders.

North Dakota Rodeo Association Finals, Watford City, September 11-12: Crowning of year-end champions in all events.

Roughrider Rodeo Association Finals, Jamestown, September 25-27: Year-end championship event for this North Dakota circuit.

Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, Minot, October 8-11: Also known at the Minot Y's Men's Rodeo. Champions in the PRCA's Badlands Circuit will be crowned.

North Dakota Powwows 2015

Here is a listing of Native American powwows scheduled for North Dakota in 205:

Flag Day Celebration Wacipi, Cannon Ball, June 12-14 

Paha Yamini Wacipy, Shields, June 19-21

Arikara Celebration, White Shield, July 10-12

Mandaree Celebration, Mandaree, July 17-19

Fort Totten Days, Fort Totten, July 24-26

Long Soldier Wacipi, Fort Yates, July 31-August 2

Little Shell Celebration, New Town, August 7-9

United Tribes International Powwow, Bismarck, September 10-13. 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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