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. July 4 and the dates around there are known as Cowboy Christmas for all the money that can be earned at the rodeos held around the holiday.

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.

The following is a list of major rodeos and powwows in North Dakota. The list is updated regularly as new events are announced.

2016 North Dakota Rodeos

April 1-2: PRCA Rodeo, Fargo
June 3-5: Badlands NDRA Rodeo, Medora
June 9-12: State High School Finals Rodeo, Bowman
June 24-26: Roughrider Days PRCA Rodeo, Dickinson
July 1-2: James River Rodeo, Jamestown
July 2-4: Mandan Rodeo Days, Mandan
July 3-4: Killdeer Mountain Roundup PRCA Rodeo, Killdeer
July 4: Fort Ransom Fourth of July Rodeo, Fort Ransom
August 4-7: Morton County Fair Rodeo, New Salem
August 6: Home on the Range Champions Ride Rodeo, Sentinel Butte
September 9-10: NDRA Finals Rodeo, Bismarck
October 6-9: Y's Men's Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, Minot
October 28-30: Roughrider Rodeo Association Finals, Jamestown

2016 North Dakota Powwows

April 22-24: UNDIA Powwow, Grand Forks
May 13-15: FM Crossroads Powwow, Fargo
June 10-12: Flag Day Celebration Wacipi, Cannonball (Tentative, dates could change)
June 17-19: Twin Buttes Powwow, Twin Buttes
June 17-19: Paha Yamini Wacipi, Shields (Tentative, dates could change)
July 7-10: Arikara Celebration, White Shield
July 14-17: Mandaree Celebration, Mandaree
July 29-31: Fort Totten Days, Fort Totten
August 12-14: Little Shell Powwow, New Town
September 7-11: United Tribes International Powwow, Bismarck


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