Kyi-Yo 2010 Powwow falls short on payout to dancers — an estimated $15,000 short

Shelly and TierraHundreds of dancers showed up at the 2010 Kyi-Yo Powwow at the University of Montana with hopes of winning big prize money — but many of them left miffed and disappointed around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning.

I went to the Kyi-Yo Powwow Friday night and Saturday. I arrived at the Adams Center with my 2-year-old girl and my traditional dance regalia. I registered as a dance contestant on Friday. But, once I settled inside and got myself and the toddler ready for grand entry, I realized this was a greater time commitment than I was prepared to handle. I made the decision that I would enjoy the powwow as much as possible without getting in the dance contest.

Like me, lovers of song and dance gathered in Missoula for the student-run Kyi-Yo Powwow. Many came to watch, many more came to support drummers and singers and hundreds of men, women and teenagers showed up to register in the dance contest. The prize money at Kyi-Yo offered prizes for the top five dancers in about a dozen categories. The winners are typically announced at the very end of the powwow. Everyone is then given their money and the happy winners drive off to all the four directions. I left around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, saying goodnight to my friends who were in the dance contest in the women’s and men’s traditional categories. It was getting late. I was tired, my girl was tired.  She was tired and happy. She had a great time being a kid and simply enjoying the beat of the drum. My friends’ kids were tired too, but their whole family had to stay because they were in the dance contest. 

I was really shocked to talk to my friend Kella WithHorn today. I wanted to hear all about the contest winners. Instead, she told me that half the winners were not paid. She said one of the Kyi-Yo committee members made an announcement around 3 a.m. informing  everyone in the Adams Center that the committee didn’t have money to pay all the dancers. I’ve been to scores of powwows in my life, but I’ve never been to one where I heard an announcement like that. It’s a rare occurrence.

Understandably so, the announcement was followed by boos and hisses from the families and contestents who had been waiting so patiently for the payout. 

What went wrong with this year’s Kyi-Yo Powwow? Some people blamed the University of Montana leaders for failing to pay. Others blamed last year’s Kyi-Yo committee. The truth will arise soon enough. It’s disconcerting that a few people seemed to have known last week that the powwow was going to fall short an estimated $15,000, according to the Indian grapevine. I tried calling one of the student organizers but her phone was turned off. Her voice mail box was also full, so I couldn’t leave a message. So why didn’t anyone from the powwow committee speak up at the beginning of the powwow rather than wait until the wee hours Sunday morning?

2010 Kyi-Yo Officers:

President, Giesel Eagle Feathers
Vice President, Natani Pete
Treasurer, Kalem Lame Bull
Secretary, Suzette Means
Program Coordinator, Robert Peltier

It’s a great disappointment to see the Kyi-Yo students in this situation.  I hope someone makes good on the contest payouts for all the drummers, singers and dancers who should have been paid.

 Jodi Rave

Jodi Rave

Jodi Rave Spotted Bear is the publisher of the Buffalo's Fire.

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64 Responses

  1. Sandy Spang says:

    It will be interesting to hear what happened and why on earth they waited until the last minute to announce the lack of money. They should have been up front with this. People would have made their decisions and either left or enjoyed the rest of the powwow. Not good for the reputation of an otherwise great powwow.

  2. Francis Auld says:

    Its time to BOYCOTT this Pow-Wow.

  3. Francis Auld says:


  4. Ruth says:

    As a UM alumni and former Kyi-Yo Club member, it saddens me that this happened. Hopefully the truth will come out and things will be settled in the right way.

  5. Jerry says:

    To the students who coordinated the Pow wow:
    I know just how hard it is to be in school, try to keep up the grades and put on a Pow wow. When I was in school at the University of Washington, I too went through everything that you are experiencing. I just want you to understand that I feel for you, but at the same time, that is also no excuse not to inform the contestants that often drive for hours and hundreds of miles away that you will not be able to have a payout. You should have announced that you would be changing to a “traditional” Pow wow via the newspaper and word of mouth. People would have had the opportunity to understand your position, that you are students and unfortunately, colleges cannot provide funds for contests. That particular aspect of fund-raising is all left up to you!

    I truly hope things change for the better. You need to appologize to the Native community. Otherwise, it may take years for the Kyi-yo Pow wow to recover.

    Take care,


  6. Rebecca says:

    I have always enjoyed this pow wow and look forward to it every year. I will not attend next year if this is not resolved. Will the University of Montana help these committee members? I hope this is resolve, if not this pow wow will certainly lose its reputation.

  7. Patricia says:

    It is easy to point fingers and to blame others. However, this massive destruction took place this year with the responsibility of 2010 committee /advisor. Consideration was over-looked and not provided to the people who traveled and had the additional expenses of hotel, gas, and food. If the dollars were not available on Monday then common sense would be to make an formal annoucnement of cancellation and/ or changing to Taditional. Where was the leadership? An apology needs to go out to everyone who attended this event and a special apology to Mr. Earl Old Person, for the lack of respect that was shown towards him..

  8. Jim says:

    I would like to express that I had a wonderful time at this celebration. I did dance and enjoy the singing of my fellow American Indians. What happened with the contest payout was very unfortunate and pray that the committee and the University take the appropriate steps to ensure this does not happen in the future. I eventually return to this pow wow to dance again. I encourage all who read this not to express any ill will toward these students or the pow wow itself. Instead, offer advice for these yound people and encourage them to do their best. Aho!

  9. Dustin says:

    I am a student at the University of Montana and embrassed at what has happened. Kyi Yo is a great powwow for familys to come too. My family has been coming for years. I think you can not blame the students with all the blame. The mistakes of few cause the embrassment of all of us Native students that attend the college. I think as Native community, we need to quit blaming people and fix the problem. I personally will work with Kyi Yo next year to make sure this does not happen next year. Do not Boycott the Powwow cause the mistake of a few but as natives lets work togather and erase this problem.

    Dustin M

  10. Fredricka Hunter says:

    When a situation like this comes to the forefront of conversations it is easy to blame individuals. Please know that the Kyi-yo officers need your support. What happened this past weekend was not the fault of the officers and all those who volunteered. The officers work hard throughout the year to fund raise to ensure a successful powwow. Most people don’t understand the students have to pay for the use of the field house, which is thousands of dollars, none of the concession money is given to the club for prize money, that money is retained by the Institution and the club has to pay for security. So, who profits from the pow-wow? The Kyi-yo brings hundereds and thousands of dollars to the Missoula Community and to the University of Montana off the backs of hard working students. I know the club officers and each of them are hard working respectable individuals. I talked with one of them and they were assured that they had support. However, had they known they’d be left standing alone and in this situation, they would have cancelled rather than damage their reputation. Please try to understand the bigger picture, let’s not blame the officers, I believe they were just as stunned to find themselves in this situation. Please, let’s reserve judgment, there is alot behind the scenes we are not aware of so let’s try to find ways to support them and understand the bigger picture.

  11. Les Johnson says:

    I personally do not attend competition Pow-wows. I prefer the traditional Pow-wow. I am surprised that people there booed and hissed at their own people! Something is lost and forgotten here. The whole aim of the journey to this pow-wow was the money?
    I would have tried to become part of the solution here and helped out the officers, rather than lay down and start blaming and threatening to boycott. Maybe I don’t have the whole understanding here because I wasn’t there but I do not believe they should boo their own people! We are boo-ed enough by others, so this adds to the problem.

  12. Elrae Potts says:

    All I can say is that this situation is in desperate need of some spiritual energy at this point. There is no reason to blame, point fingers, or try to analyze ‘what could have been,’ because that will not help the matter. The thing that everyone can do at this point is to say specific prayers, regardless of your beliefs for healing from this unfortunate mishap. I understand that people are angry, and I am not discounting that emotion. But there are always twists, turns, assumptions, judgements, false information, angry words, and emotional turmoil that can lead these situations in the wrong direction. And anger does nothing but add unneccessary fuel to the fire. But if people are angry, I pray that their anger be channeled into something positive to add to this situation. I am an alumni of UM so I feel a strong urge to roll up my sleeves and offer my assistance where it may be needed. It may be that all I can do is offer my spiritual strength in the form of prayer, but I feel that I need to do something. I am an optimistic person and I think that this situation can be the platform for a huge learning experience/lesson for many, many people. Whatever the lesson is, the amount of positive energy given to it will be immensely helpful. I urge anyone who reads these words, to say a prayer for peace to prevail and a diplomatic means to solving this particular issue is found. And that the people do not give up on Kyi-Yo pow wow and a full recovery effort takes place to make sure next year’s pow wow is good, and the following year is great, and so on. Please people…. find it in your hearts to deflect the negative energy surrounding this situation. I agree with Dustin who commented here and said DO NOT BOYCOTT THE POW WOW! There is enough harsh realities happening in the world. Kyi-Yo has always been an enjoyable event, and it has a long history. I know I sound idealistic, but my point is to not dwell on the dirty details surrounding this mess. But to see what can be done on a bigger scale. And to help those heal from this who were affected the most. Those who are hurting in their hearts from the fallout. There are details I’m sure that need to be addressed to prevent this from happening again, but I think it is manageable and possible to handle it with integrity. My final thought is this: Kyi-Yo was a pretty decent pow wow this year before it all ended on a sour note. I spoke to several people who genuinely enjoyed themselves. And the memories that people made this past weekend from visiting friends & family…..well those cannot be tarnished!

  13. UM Student says:

    I think it was very wrong what the committee did this weekend. It is at lesat half there fault for what happened. they should have canceled the pow wow. If there going to hide behind the excuse, that they wanted a pow wow this year, they should have made kyiyo a traditional pow wow. It is very wrong to make everybody from out of town and out of state people wait until 330 in the morning, to tell them, there is no money. People can try to sweet talk, and make nice excuses, but there does need to be a clear explination and apology to everybody!!! the pow wow was indeed a success. Everybody enjoyed them seleves, thats why the end result was so bad.

    I think kyiyo can pull them selves out. if the adams center is too much to rent out, move it some where! move it to a smaller gym. make adjustments! move it out side under a tent. As for getting itself back on its feet, the kyiyo committee needs pow wow people in there, making descisions. I think a good line up for next year and an apology is what kyiyo really needs. Get Northern Cree, Ruben Littlehead, all positive aspects to bring everyone back, and to make up for the bad.

  14. Jack Hines says:

    So how many of the individuals, dancers, drummers, and attendees, are truly traditional Indians?……I quit going to Pow-Wows years ago every since everyone became money hungry…….There used to be dancers and singer who performed because they wanted to, not because they figured they would get paid for it…….Looks like the tradition now is fighting over money……..You all should just donate your time and efforts…….

  15. Amanda says:

    As a former Kyi-Yo member and as last year’s President of this powwow I felt it necessary to express my support to this year’s committee. It is very unfortunate that this happened and I am sorry for all those who left the powwow feeling cheated and lied to. However, I understand that this year’s Kyi-Yo club is probably dealing with a whole lot more than what any of us are aware of.
    Last year as the clubs president I felt that I, along with my fellow officers had been put through more than what anyone should go through. We all signed up for a full time job when we committed ourselves to organizing this event and through all of the hardships that we went through we were very fortunate to have pulled everything off.
    As for this year’s new club I’m sure that they learned more about what really happens during this event and I’m sure it was more than anything that they could have imagined. The University’s large campus is very diverse, but when it comes to working with certain individuals you’ll come to find that things are not always what they seem. There are individuals on campus that work with the Kyi-Yo club and yet have no understanding or sensitivity to our Native American culture as one would hope. On the other hand there are people on campus who are working hard on a daily basis to support Native Americans on campus and their cause for such a unique event as the Kyi-Yo powwow. Nonetheless, it seems that the individuals who have the least understanding of Native American culture are those who have the most influence over whether or not the students are able to organize a successful powwow.
    Although I do not know everything that led up to this past weekend’s turnout, I do understand that the Kyi-Yo club is dealing with individuals who at one told me that my family would not be allowed to bring in items for our giveaway. Not only did they not understand the reason or concept of “giving away”, but they questioned what items my family would put into the coolers that we would give to the drummers. Of course our coolers were filled with nothing more than sandwiches, chips and water to feed the singers, but the facility had wanted to search these coolers in case there was alcohol in there. It took a lot of explaining by me and other individuals to convince these people that we do not associate drugs or alcohol with things that are sacred to us. I realize that I may seem to be getting a bit side track from the topic being discussed, but I just wanted to let everyone know that that there are a number of things that could have caused this clubs downfall. The Adams Center administration has the power to take away an underwrite on the gym that could have saved the club 10-15 thousand dollars and they have the power to take away any monies that the club received at the door. It is unfortunate that something like this could happen, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done between the University’s faculty and the Native American students. I realize that a lot of damage has already been done, but please do not put down the students who tried to make this year’s Kyi-Yo powwow a successful event. I know that there are no real excuses, but please understand that when it comes to “paying out” to the winners of this event that it has been looked down up on by many administrators because of the lack of “accountability” on the students behalf. At one time it was even suggested that the club mail out checks to the winners of this event so that they could be more reliable; it is clear that they have no understanding of how a contest powwow that attracts a lot of people works, but none the less they do not care whether or not families go home feeling cheated and lied to. I hope that people do not boycott this event as it has brought many positive changes to campus and the community and I do look forward to seeing a successful and stronger Kyi-Yo club next year!

  16. Nona Main says:

    It is unfortunate what happened, yes, but although it ended on a bad note, I thoroughly enjoyed myself this weekend. There was good singing, good dancing, and all around good feelings, at least for me. I was able to see family and friends who live in Missoula that I rarely get to see. I was able to watch my son dance and that right there was enough for me.

    I do agree, however, that if the club knew in the days coming up to the powwow that they had no money, they should have let folks know it would be a traditional powwow instead of waiting til the wee hours of the morning to do so. Everyone was tired and with being tired, comes irritation so the reactions of the people weren’t really surprising to me. My family and I were not directly affected by the money mishap, we took my boy to dance and just enjoy the powwow but for the folks who traveled along ways, the potential monies would have helped them in getting home, etc. Especially the singers. I know singers who go to the powwows with little money in hopes of getting in on the singing contest or even the day money just to be able to set up at the powwow and sing.

    I know it’s very sad that everything has become about money, but to travel far distances and go to these events, it takes money to get there and money to get back. That’s the plain truth.

    In organizing a good powwow, you must pick the right people to help you. The right Arena Director, the right M.C., etc. All around, it was pretty decent powwow but there’s always room for improvement. I understand the work and effort it takes in putting on a good, smooth running powwow and it’s alot of work, no easy task. In any event, I feel bad for folks all the way around, the students who ran the powwow, the ones who did not get the winnings they deserved and the singers who went home with nothing. I hope they all made it home safely. It’s going to take alot of hard work and convincing to pick up the pieces but it can be done. This powwow has been going on for years and years. My Dad danced at Kyi-yo as a young boy, still talks about it to this day so with that in mind, I hope things will work out for the best for next year’s powwow. I’m sure there are a lot of people praying and hoping this will pass and improve. I will be. Good Luck to next year’s committee. I hope the University and the Kyiyo Club can come to a mutual respectful understanding.

    May the Creator bless you all.

  17. Rest of the story says:

    There’s more to the story other than not having enough $$$ to pay the winners.

  18. Rest of the story says:

    Dancers need to request an audit on the contest scoring because the committee staff had no experience in tabulating the judges ballot points. They had no system in place to add up contest points or grand entry points. They could have used a spreadsheet or simple forms to keep track of contestant names, #’s and points. Instead they were using chicken scratch hand writing points on sheets of paper & adding up points with their cell phones!! They were so not prepared and did not know how to run a contest powwow. DANCERS check your points!!! The students at the tabulating table even admitted they did not know how to tabulate powwow points. Seriously!!
    When the payout to the winners was announced it was by their contest # only no names were given to the announcer. So anyone could have gone up& swiped what $$ there was. The dancers should’ve also signed a document that accounted for exactly how much $$$ he/she received in the envelope.

  19. Helen Cryer says:

    Awe sorry to hear about the pow-wow, I enjoy going to this pow-wow even when I’m not dancing, and these things happen. However, I do find this article very disappointing and non-supportive to the spirit of POW-WOW. This article is really pointing the finger(s) and it shouldn’t be that way. For many Pow-wow lovers, we know this does happen, and then we go to the next pow-wow and then come back to support last years pow-wow. It takes hard work commitment and time to run a successful pow-wow, maybe there should have been some kind of warning, but sometimes there is no communication and then we have a problem. I do believe there is a lack of support coming from so many Universities when it comes to the Native American population.

    Regardless, KyiYo is a well known pow-wow and it will come back better and stronger, this maybe a lesson for Native American students to focus and learn from the mistakes made. Everyone seems to be effected by this and embarrassed but there are other pow-wows that this did happen to, so don’t be so hard on yourselves, don’t let negative stories like this one ruin your pow-wow spirit. It is hard to run a pow-wow off the rez, your practically on your own for funds. Just make it rock next year, plan early and get them posters out early. I don’t care what people say about my comment, I love to stand up and I will defend and support any pow-wow in Indian Country. If you don’t know anything about pow-wow’s then don’t gossip about what you don’t know.

    I believe there will be more support in the next years to come for Kyiyo. I’m from Canada and I will come back!

  20. For the Love of the Game says:

    Wake up call for the pow wow trail? This is what is happening in this society today. Dancers and singers dance and sing for MONEY. Our ancestors NEVER did that. What ever happened to the good old socializing, meeting people and enjoying each others company? Money is far from what a pow wow is meant to be for. It is sad that $$$$$ can cloud precious virtues.

  21. Elaine Topsky says:

    I enjoy going to MIssoula. The situation could have been saved had the students asked for help and been upfront instead of waiting until 3am. It was sad to see plus being so tired. Where was the advisor?

  22. Louie Paul says:

    We don’t need to be pointing fingers, and no we don’t not need to boycott the powwow. Powwows take alot of time and hard work to run. when my family ran arlee powwow we had our people that said negative things and we had our supporters but the majority of our non-supporters were people who did not powwow. the first thing we put on our minds were our visitors we treated them with alot of respect and made sure we had all of our bases covered. Like i said before it takes alot of hard work and time, if you have those 2 things it should be no problem. But yeah i enjoyed myself and we got 2nd in the drum contest, congrats to all the winners and wish everyone safe travels this summer. Aho!

  23. UM Student says:

    I was so disappointed with the outcome of this powwow. It was a CROW powwow in the middle of CSKT country with no BLACKFEET Tipi run. What the heck happened? Why did this powwow committee blame Blackfeet for the failure of this powwow? Why are Crows coming into another tribes area and throwing a big powwow? How can they do that? Would they allow another tribe to run a university powwow in their backyard? I don’t think so. I am disgusted and disappointed all the way around. This reflects poorly on the university. Why would the university let their brand suffer like this? I wholeheartedly blame the powwow committee. They didn’t need to let us wait until 3:00 am to tell us they didn’t have their funding. To make matters worse, they didn’t need to let us all sit around while they ran off ties and not even call any of those winners of the tie breakers. This was a big Crow slap in the face to the Salish & Kootenai and Blackfeet tribes.

  24. Rose M. Cochran says:

    I think its hilarious that people were mad about the pay-outs. Seriously, who really knows who is going to place either way? Also, what has happened to our people as Indian people? As a child, my family traveled from pow-wow to pow-wow through the US and Canada never competing but doing it simply for the love of it. My cousins and I were dancers and they had a drum group. They enjoyed singing and we all enjoyed dancing. It wasn’t about the money or the time or how far we traveled. It was for the simple fact that we loved doing what we did. Even today, as an adult, I travel to pow-wows, not because I may win a few bucks here or there but because pow-wow is something that I love. Our Indian people today are so full of greed and forget what pow-wow is all about. It is a place to come together as Indian people to visit, sing, dance, and have a good time with all our relations.

    I understand that people use what little money they have to get to a powwow in hopes of winning money to return home. But that is where those people go wrong. Nobody really knows who will win, which place or how much cash. Therefore, use your brain and calculate how much money its going to take you to get there and get home. Otherwise your just setting yourself up to be stranded.

    I do not know what happened at the Kyi-Yo Pow-wow as I was not there this year. I usually go because I can see alot of friends from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and the western area of the US. I do know that its not fair if we bad-mouth them through the internet or through word of mouth.

    Indian people need to stop thinking only and all about the money. Yes, if they knew ahead of time, that they didn’t have all the money, they should have let people know. But they never. So be it. All this crying isn’t going to change anything. The 5 members did the best that they could. Pray for them and have pity on them. Pray that they get through this because its 5 of them against how many greedy Indians? I’m not saying what happened is okay, just simply saying, remember who we are as Indian People.

  25. Crow says:

    Here we go with the “Let`s blame the Crows.”
    I myself am an avid traveler. And yes I dance Crow traditional! But to be honest, I have been to worse pow-wows.
    I feel for the committee because it is a feat to accomplish such a successful pow-wow. Most committees put on fundraisers, bake sales, raffles, etc. to meet the pay-outs. I also know as a dancer that the prize money does help. But that`s not what dancing is all about!
    Blaming a certain tribe is not going to clear things up. Look at the diversity on the campus. That`s like an Asian student messing up a science group project and blaming all of China for it not being a success!
    Now I`m not targeting anyone, that was just an example of how petty people can be.
    I have not attended Kyi-Yo in a few years, and it is unfortunate that this occurred, especially under a Crow President.
    I appreciate Miss Amanda Decker`s input. She knows firsthand the issues that can occur as a student and officer.
    They say every year is different when there are different committees that are chosen every year.
    I know many are disappointed and embarrassed about this, but I`m sure they will choose another committee next year. And there are many pow-wows to look forward to for the rest of this year.
    I hope they resolve this and get to the bottom of it.

  26. Rest of the Story says:

    Who are we as Indian People? Don’t judge the PowWow Dancers & Drummers/Singers who dedicate themselves and their lives to be the top in their categories and COMPETE at contest powwows all over the nation. They are in their own right superb athletes and artisans who have refined their performances just like any winning financially awarded athlete who performs and competes for the love of the sport or event because they excel at it.

    Take a look at Rodeo. Rodeo wasn’t about the money either when it initially began. However, through the years as cowboys have become pro-athletes, so have Native Americans become Pro-traditional, fancy, jingle, grass, chicken and other style dancers per say. They spend countless hours, dedication and money to construct their regalia as well as to practice and refine their technique and condition themselves to become competitive.

    Indian people have always been competitive. It is a traditional value to compete and succeed and be a proud native person with the recognition among peers that they are the best. Traditional Native gaming events demonstrate this as well where contestants also win cash awards. Does this mean that all the traditional natives need to stop playing bingo now for money otherwise they are considered to have lost their traditional ways? What about stick game? WHoaaaaa. Don’t even go there.

    Evolve people! Social Powwows do have their merit and are praised for the social networking atmosphere that is present and based upon traditional Native American values and customs. However, in this day and age the great dancers and the great singers & drummers who dedicate themselves and their lives and that of their families travel the country and make a living just as any other competitor does in their competition. The fans preferably follow! It’s as simple as that. This doesn’t make these individuals less moral or lost souls who forget their cultural values. They remain traditional native families with outstanding values who form lasting friendships, strengthening family unity and are surviving as Native people.

    If you want to go to a traditional social powwow, that’s your right and prerogative to do so. It is sad to say though that not many will join you. The contest powwows are the majority choice of today and since they are advertised as such, they must come through with their promises or contestants will not come back.

  27. Past Kyi-Yo President says:

    It is very unfortunate that these events have occurred. As a past Kyi-Yo Pow Wow coordinator for 2 years and Kyi-Yo president, I was was saddened and even took it as a punch to my personal pride that this situation occurred. I know how hard it is to coordinate and run a contest pow wow as prestigious as the Kyi-Yo. I don’t know exactly what happened, but this needs to be rectified immediately. I’ve just been hearing what is being said on the Indian Grapevine which I know is probably not 100% accurate.

    The Kyi-Yo club NEEDS to address this immediately and NEEDS to issue a public apology at the very least!! There are always mistakes made in life and sometimes things will happen to go not as we expected them. However, it is imperative that we own up to our mistakes and try to correct them as best as we can. This could turn out to be a very good learning experience to the students who could have averted this tragic situation.

    There are a lot of “Shoulda, woulda, coulda” that could have been done. But, for now the Kyi-Yo officers, committee, club and campus need to come together to find a solution to what happened. The reputations of all past and future Kyi-Yo Indian clubs is on your shoulders. It is a tough responsibilty, but one you must bear, as all past Kyi-Yo presidents and clubs have done!

    I have always been proud to say that I was a Kyi-Yo club president and a coordinator of the pow wow. This is the premier student run college pow wow in the state of Montana. I don’t know what could’ve gone wrong? The actions that you take now will be looked at and scrutinized by all Kyi-Yo clubs in the future so the same mistakes won’t be made again. Take care in your decision making and remember that MOST people will have an understanding of the situation as long as there is a sincere aplogy and openness about what happened. Honesty is the Best policy. Good luck!

  28. j matt says:

    I agree with Amanda an Freddie. I was there and I seen the students working very hard to run the pow-wow. Why did the University not hire an Advisor for this group. Past students in the Kyi-Yo club will tell you it is a full time job.
    I understand the University came in and made sure they took the money right off the top of door and vender payments for use of the field house. Food sale lines were three lines full at all times. University got all that money. The town was packed, Missoula makes alot of money off of Kyi- Yo. Yet when something like this happens the University set back and keeps there mouth shut and lets the hard working Native students take the blame.
    People need to ask who the person was that sat on the money the club allready had in Kyi-yo account. Did not hire a advisor, new they were a new commitee.
    So please stop blaming the students. I personally seen the students working there ass off on two off the most beautiful days in Missoula.

    So if you really care. write a letter to the Uof M president, The NAS director. and the person in control of the Kyi-Yo funds.
    University of Montana could care less about Kyi-Yo pow-wow. And even less about Native students. Unless there bringing in money.
    Thank you students for all your hard work. Let this be a lesson to stand up for yourself at the U of M

  29. Sunshine says:

    Honestly, looking at powwows as a means of income is ridiculous. Get an education and get a job. Booing and bad mouthing our young people is such a sad thing to do. Plan ahead, save money for your expenses. If you can’t afford to make to the pow wow and back home or to your next destination….seriously consider staying home. A contest pow wow does not always mean you will place…even if your a so-called “superb athlete and artisan”. Unless someone is cheating for you… I’m sure you know of many pow wows where your favorite singers and dancers will place for sure… Pro rodeo and any other “professional” competitor have traveling budgets they maintain. My family is from a rodeo background and we have to budget our finances to ensure our continued travels. Nothing in this world is guaranteed. Looking at the Kiyi-yo Powwow website and the poster, I didn’t see any contest money advertised. Furthermore, blaming theh Crow Nation – what a cheap shot! Shame on you… God bless these young people and GOD BLESS all the people who are bad mouthing. Haven’t you had mishaps in your lifetime…go ahead and REALLY think about it…yes YOU…think about that time….. Now get over it… PEACE!

  30. Joe M. says:

    I too am a UM graduate, past Kyi-yo club president and powwow coordinator for two years. What took place this weekend was sad and unfortunate. And, there is some truth in most of the comments made here regarding the powwow this weekend – good and bad.

    First thing first. The club does need to apologize for not communicating to the people who were planning on going and who did travel to Missoula, that they were not going to meet the advertised commitments. Sometimes, simple honesty and communication goes a long way toward healing.

    Second, understanding and foregiveness are supposed to be important values for all Indian people. Those who are upset and disappointed should try to find foregiveness, rather than being angry and crticizing.
    We have all made mistakes in our lives, none of us is perfect.

    Third, the Indian student poplulaton of UM needs to come together, stop blaming and bickering among themselves, accept personal responbility for what they did or didn’t do, and then foregive themselves, learn, make a commitment that this will not happen again, and move on. It is a time for reflection, and personal and organizational healing. Ask your elders for spiritual help, including people like Earl Old Person and Barney Old Coyote, along with others from all the student tribes. The dedication of the new Native Center in May would be a good opportunity to start the healing process.

    Just as in life in general, the Indian student poplulation of UM is viewed by the larger society as a group. What the Kyi-yo club does reflects on everyone whether you were part of the club, part of the powwow or not.
    There should be no “Crow” club or no “Blackfeet” club or no “Salish Kootenai” club, it is the Indian students’ club. It is everyone’s club.

    It is also time to learn. It is a tremendous effot to put on the Kyi-yo powwow. During powwow week, school work and family life often take a back seat. So, the club needs to be realisctic. If the powwow is going to be a compeition powwow, be realistic about what can be paid for prize money and how many places can be paid. Three places is probably enough.

    Make a concerted political effort to change the UM approach the rental of the Adams Center (it has always been one of the greatest financial burdens of the powwow), demand at least a cut of the concessions or ban the concessions, and/or demand a greater allocation from the Student body. It is time to call UM on its commitment to cultural diverstity.

    Start a marketing and fundraising effort with Missoula businesses who benefit from the powwow. Offer to direct powwow participants to those busnesses and make a real effort to get the powwow people to patronize only those business while in Missoula – publish a list of business who contributed, along with a list of those businesses who were asked to contribute but did not.. And, make a concerted, planned effort to find one or more long-term coporate sponsors.

    If being in the Adams Center after midnight is costing more money, then make a concerted effort to be done by that time. It has been done in the past. Eliminate all specials and honor dances except two. Allow one honor dance on Friday night for all families who want to honor students and one honor dance on Saturday night for the club itself. Limiting time for royatly specials and giveaways needs to be given serious consideration. And, some simple things like using only odd numbers in awarding points will help with eliminating ties and the need for runoffs, tallying points and handing out prizes for the completed catagories while still completing the remaining catagories, will all help move the powwow along.

    I attended the Kyi-powwow this year. I was one of the competition dancers. While the dance did seem smaller than in some years, for the most part I enjoyed myself as I always do. However, I left right after my dance competiton, and was not around when whatever happened later took place. Whatever happened could have been avoided, or at least minimized in the sense of anger and frustraton by simply communicating honestly. If any lesson is learned here, let be that.

    Good luck and Creator’s blessings to all the Club members, past, present and future. Blessings too to all the drummers, dancers, students and families, that all travel safely on your journey through powwow country this summer and through life.

  31. ~Jo'way~ says:

    So sad to hear what happened at the pow-wow in Missoula over the past week-end. I’ve attended the pow-wow off and on over the years and always enjoyed it. My friends and relatives attended this year’s pow-wow and informed me what had happened. Like everybody else they were disappointed; however, they commented that the pow-wow was good and enjoyed watching the dancing and singing. I believe the committee should have been up front and honest and let people before hand know that they didn’t have the funds. Like “past kyi-yo president” said “honestly is the best policy”. As a committee member for my tribe’s pow-wow, we all ways make sure we have the funds before we announce any prize $, etc so we don’t look silly in da end when we don’t have the funds. I hope Kyi-yo pow-wow can recover from this and we need to continue to supporting the pow-wow. As native americans we all need to support and stand by one another in all causes to make it in today’s world. Recommendation for 2011 pow-wow committee: raise alot of funds, makes sure da funds are secured and invite da top headstaff and rock da Adams Center next year! Come on people lets be positive and move on… Maybe instead of being negative we can offer words of encouragement for next year’s committee along with recommendations.

  32. Bishee says:

    It’s a bad thing to mislead people, but to blame a whole tribe, that’s just ignorant. I say this is out of respect for a Crow woman who helped establish the Kyi-Yo Club. I won’t say it was her idea, yet she did a lot of the work to get it started. She did it, not because she was concerned about being Crow in that part of the country, but because she loved the University of Montana and being Indian and letting others know that love.

  33. steve says:

    Prayers for the First Nations students, the Kyi-yo native student club, the dancers, singers and all who traveled. Shame on those who belittled these young people who did nothing wrong except tried to bring people together in a good way! Through prayer and lessons learn’t, this powwow will continue to thrive. Have never been to it, but have heard nothing but good things about it, till now. My group will make a concerted effort to attend this celebration next year. Looking forward to our first visit to the kyi-yo powwow. Hope to see you all there! To the students; Continue to do the good work you believe in! There will always be people who talk, only take the good that you need from it.

  34. Chris Roberts says:

    I am one of the founders of the Kyi-Yo Powwow back in the late 60s. Back then powwows were just beginning their upswing in popularity and we were one of the very first “college powwows” to start up.
    It was difficult back then to raise the funds to pay for all the expenses associated with hosting a powwow at UM. All student groups have to pay to use facilities, security, janitorial, advertising etc. We twelve worked extremely hard to accomplish this goal. The first powwow was held in the Ballroom in the U Center, Starr School was host drum and and the event was such a successthat it continues over 40 years later.
    Some years have been good, some great and others less so. What I can tell you after also being a powwow chariman for Fort Missoula’s United People’s Powwow in the lat 80s and early 90s that it hasn’t got any easier to raise money to host powwows in Missoula. The population has come to appreciate the cultural strength of the powwow and richness in both spirituality and sociality. However Missoula is a large cosmopolitan center for Montana and as such their is a tremendous amount of fundraising to compete with for less available dollars. Everything costs more. The rub is that back then there was not all the emphasis on money associated with powwows. Today their is this huge empahasis on “contest powwows” and pay outs to sing or dance. It is time to go back to the roots of the powwow where participantss danced or sang for the joy of it not how BIG the prize money purse is. Back then we covered travel expenses, gave people places to stay, hosted feeds for our visitors. Today the first thing drum groups ask is how much are you paying? Reservation powwows are able to tap tribal resources to defray costs. Everyone on the Rez looks forward to putting on the bid “doings.” But off reservation urban areas with somewhat hidden divers Indian populations do not have this luxury. They have to scrabble for dollars. Those students should be appluded for the fact they were able to put on the powwow. It is time to re-evaluate what is important here. Should Indian people have to be paid so much to insure cultural integrity . Should a powwows value be measured by money. I agree with Les Johnson. It is time to take away the greed that has cept into all of American society. It is time to look to how can we put on GREAT events without having the burden of ever growing high costs of Prize Money. We can give-away blankets and crafts, moccasins and beadwork at powwows where money is hard to come by. We can return to the social roots of giving instead of getting. We can rise above the “pay me” attitude. Organizations that can afford to do so can still host Prize Money Contest Powwows. Certain Casinos seem to be very good at this. Tribal groups seem to do this better also. But a college powwow is a really tough place to commit to a Big Prize Contest Powwow. When Kyi-Yo started it’s mission was to bring people togther for one of the earliest powwows of the season, to make both participants and spectators to feel good, to educate the local community in the richness of native culture that srrounds them
    We wanted to dispel the false notion that Indian culture was dying and we did. Now is the time to go back to those Kyi-Yo roots. To host a powwow for the sheer joy of coming together in song and dance demonstrating how far the culture has grown and not how much are we paid, or that we are even paid at all.
    It’s time for Change not Chastisement!!
    UM Kyi-Yo Alumnus 1967-1970, 1971-73

  35. Sympathetic says:

    I agree with Elrae…let’s send some positive support and our prayers to the Kyi-Yo Powwow Committee. As I read this article, it seemed that it was slightly judgmental and I don’t agree with listing the committee members names. What is the purpose of that? So angry people can call and harass them?

    So much as been said and so many feelings have been hurt. This is not a good way to start off the powwow season. Hopefully, the students will learn from their mistakes and take pro-active measures to set the story straight. In the meantime, let’s stop the negative gossip and move forward in a good way. And let’s remember that these students are still learning, and we ALL have made mistakes. Instead of tearing them down and giving them ulcers, let’s show them support and help figure out a solution to this problem. When you think about it, it really is not that big of a deal. Worse things happen every day.

    • Jodi Rave says:

      Hello Dyani:
      I wrote the article and listed the students names not to cause harm but simply do my job as a journalist. It’s a part of being professional and accountable to readers. Isn’t that what went wrong in the first place? A total lack of accountability at all levels? So, indeed, let’s not be judgmental or seek to cause anyone further harm.
      Peace and prayers.
      Jodi Rave

  36. Lovie says:

    Gosh, perhaps they should of kept it the same weekend as Gatherings. Haven’t been to Kyiyo since 2004. Too bad for the committe.

    Our family ran the Warm Springs Veterans PW for 15 years. We put alot of our own $$ into this PW besides the amount our tribe put up, including fundraiser activities.. Now that we folded, nobody will step up.

    Not only did we hand out prize money, we gifted the veterans over the years with Pendleton Blankets / Quilts / Vests / Caps / Pins, etc. That’s what our PW started as… for the veterans. Then somehow it became competitive??

    Isn’t that what Kyiyo started as for the students?? lf anything, you should begin fund raising the day after your last night. That’s what it sounds like here, lack of fundraising. Myself, I’ve always had fun at Kyiyo.

    Blacklodge & Blackstone came faithfully every year to our pw. We were thankful for that. That’s what you call respect for the pw n drum. Not of who you are or where you come from. So don’t be hard on yourselves. Everyone has a hard time once in awhile. This year will be a learning experience. Thats what I teach my daugher who dances jingle, letting her know the true meaning of a pw.

  37. Brent says:

    We hold our leaders and community members in our society responsible, there should be no difference for students. As students, there is a learning process of personal accountability to be learned as a student growing. Did we not learn anything from the federal government, but also to give some level of forgiveness to the students. Students! Step forward and take responsibility, that can only build character for yourself!

    University of New Mexico Student

  38. Yvette Joseph says:

    This is an interesting conversation. Perhaps, the folks in Montana might want to take inspiration from its neighbors at Washington State University (WSU), where the college pow-wow is a time to honor each of the native graduates with a Pendleton blanket for all of their academic accomplishments. The Alumni do their best to recognize these graduates who are doing what they are supposed to, study and graduate. I’m sorry to hear that the native students at Kyi-Yo are being shamed and criticized. And yet, I am inspired by those who speak to what the Pow-wow is all about and are encouraging the students to stand tall. There was a time in the late 70s where the WSU Ku-au-mah Club had to admit that our raffles and fundraising were not as fully successful as we had hoped. Despite the limitations, the students and their tribal supporters fed a full salmon dinner to everyone who attended the event. And the club did their best to honor the singers, who also sang their best three songs by hand drum in a competition where less money was paid but still helped these important folks to travel home.

    I too remember my first Kyi-Yo Conference, participating in the Pageant, dancing at the Pow-wow and listening to Reuben Snake, Chairman of the Winnebago Tribe of Indians, sharing what it is to be Indian. At that time, he talked about what it is to be poor and yet have a family who stands by you. Reuben had so much to share and fought so hard to see life better for future generations. At that time, I was encouraged to observe American Indian students engaged in Debate and competing with one another over topics of relevance to our Tribes. And later as a college student, I recall participating in the Kyi-Yo Co-Ed Softball Tournament. I loved it because it was the only time I earned an All-Star for Pitching. It is amazing what the U of Montana’s students have done to instill pride in the fun-loving Indians that I have known.

    As for those who want to live on the Pow-wow Trail, that is your choice. If you cannot afford to travel and cover the costs for your family, you should just stay home. Don’t expect college students to provide for your subsistence. The big money pow-wows have caused a pan-Indianness that will be the demise of our distinct cultures. Especially the commercial event known as the Gathering of Nations – why don’t they contribute more to college scholarships, instead of the purse strings of a non-Indian man. I remember the first pow-wow that offered a $1,000 first prize and it no longer exists because of the issues with money. I hope and pray that my children will enjoy their future years with whatever pow-wow committee they join at their University or college of choice. And I will probably try to help them from afar because cities like Missoula, expensive facilities like those on campus, campus-based vendors, the security that is now needed because there are trouble-makers, and the folks who live off the pow-wows may not be contributing to their success. I’m sorry if this offends some of the self-righteous folks who are condemning the Kyi-Yo students, but they really deserve our honor and our support for trying to improve their lives. They are role models for many, especially those up and coming high school youth who were there in part to learn what being Indian is….

  39. Jay says:

    Some how this blog turned into a venue in which the theme is to blame the dancers/singers. I am addressing the comments alluding that a powwow dancer or singer is somehow not being “traditional” and “greedy”. I am a dancer and I attended Kyi-yo this year and I was shocked when the announcement was made regarding the payouts. I agree the committee would’ve done well to make it a traditional powwow, of course hindsight is 20/20 but I have to disagree with the comments regarding traveling powwow folks.

    At one time I was able to travel from powwow to powwow and I would not trade that time for anything because I have great memories but believe me that made me no less traditional and definitely not greedy! I love to dance. I enjoy going to powwows for so many reasons and if I’m able to make a little money on the side doing what I love then I think I’m coming out ahead. Also, the comment regarding powwows as an income…actually it is for some folks and why not? If an individual is able to make that work for them, if it’s something they love to do and get paid for it why judge them? If an attorney loves his job and gets paid for it would he be judged? I myself was only able to make that work for a limited time but for the ones that can and do, why are we so critical? That’s their choice! As for being traditional…by who’s definition? My “traditional” would be very different from everyone else’s, I’m sure. I think many folks’ disappointment was the feeling that there was some form of deception and maybe not so much about money.

  40. Fredricka says:

    Greetings to everyone! I just came from a meeting with the U of M Student Affairs Administrators and the Kyi-yo club officers. A public statement will be made on behalf the Officers by the U of M. When things like this happen it is always easy to blame others for what went wrong. Again, I’m supporting our student officers. They did an awesome job with the resources given. They had no idea they were going to be short until Saturday night at 5:00. The club officers did the best they could to pay those who won and they even paid out of their own pockets, borrowed from family members. Indian Country does hold them responsible and yes there is accountability and they know it. They were accountable…they could have ran but they stepped up to the plate and stood there in front of an angry crowd. To me that is a true leader…they stayed to the very end. When they knew they were going to be short, they started pushing the 50-50’s, raffles…they got into “we can do it mode.” The students dedicate their time, they are not paid, their academics suffer, their family members suffer. The students have been threatened. One of the officers went into early labor due to the stress. She had her baby 5 weeks early. Unless you’ve served on a pow-wow committee you will never know the stress, hard work, dedication, scrutiny and backlash. These are students who stepped up to the plate to make it happen and by all accounts, many people had a good time. The only thing these students have, is their names and their honor. We are going to try to find ways to help them restore their honor and their name. Please…all of you reading this, please reach into your hearts, gather around these students and offer your prayers and support. Kyi-yo has been in existence 48 years and it will come back bigger and better next year. We as Indian people need to support one another! We have enough oppression and obstacles in our lives, let us be there for one another.

  41. People make mistakes and boycotting their powwow isn’t the answer. Each year there is a diffferent committee and everyone learns from their mistakes. I for one will make it a point to be at their next powwow with my family and friends. A powwow shouldn’t be about money but I hope they had something to give to their drum groups.

  42. Rose M. Cochran says:

    I just recieved this in an email. And I agree with YvetteJoseph and thank you Fredricka. I dont know any of the students personally but I do feel for them for having to go through all of this.

    “The University of Montana extends its apology to those members of the greater Native American community who were adversely affected by the University’s actions at the Kyi-Yo Powwow. The University did not plan adequately for the unexpected shortfall in total revenue. As the result of this inadequate planning and communication, many Powwow participants and Kyi-Yo members were understandably disappointed and hurt.

    The University intends to identify the Powwow contest winners and compensate them at the same levels as previous Kyi-Yo Powwow winners. The University meant no disrespect to any executive officers or members of the Kyi-Yo Native American Student Association. The Kyi-Yo officers, Program Coordinator, and other volunteers are to be commended for their commitment and hard work. They managed a very impressive event and the University salutes them.

    For more information contact: Teresa Branch, Vice President for Student Affairs at 243-5225 or”

  43. Rest of the story says:

    Hope they kept their ballots and grand entry points so that someone who actually knows what they’re doing can add/tabulate the points right and see who rightfully won the contests!! At one point during the powwow after a contest the tabulators lost ballots!! Regardless of the mistakes made, why set yourself up in the first place to fail? Preparation for a contest powwow must be done ahead of time and be carried out by a knowledgeable crew. If they didn’t have a clue how to tabulate they should have recruited the past prez. & sisters who are students who were sitting right there watching the ship sink. Reaching out for help would have been the best thing. Offering their help would have been the greatest thing to do. A lot fell short at this powwow, not just the $$$.

  44. danc'n ndn says:

    So then I see A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING IT IS NOT ABOUT MONEY….so if it is not about money then why are they charging the public to watch a pow wow and dancers to dance and drummers to drum? This is the only pow wow I know where they charge admission. SO if they knew they was short at 5pm why get frantic, and try to raise 15k in a few hours. From my observation they had NO CLUE what they was doing and was to proud to ask. When it is 3 am and they STILL have not dismissed the elders that is disrespect. When they do not count their ballots until the end , then have dance offs this is obviously clueless leaders! At least one person thinks it will be back bigger and better next year, I think they done pooped in their sack and need to give it up, trust has been broken…..SO Relieved Earl Old Person was NOT a part of this chaos!

  45. Chris Roberts says:

    It is good that UM helps the the Kyi-Yo Club and the students who did there best in putting on the powwow.
    Both the School and the Missoula community have benefitted much over the years because of this event.
    UM has done a study whch illucidates the financial benefit from athletic events which draw people to the city and campus. It would be interesting to know what the estimate is of the financial benefit from the Kyi-Yo Powwow and the various activities associated with it like youth conferences etc. Motel, restuarants, gas stations see a surge I’m sure. But what about other retail outlets like Southgate Mall and grocery stores, the UM bookstore. Many Indian people travel from their hometowns and support Grizzly athletics and merchandise. Griz Nation exists on the rez too. UM gains good PR and postive media coverage for its hosting the event. How much is front page in the Missoulian or TV coverage worth? As a person involved with promotion and communications for many years it is a known fact you can’t pay for that kind of coverage.
    Sure there maybe a story or two in the media about this most recent development but as the saying goes pressiis press, no press is bad press. Maybe this ocurrence will shed light on the difficulty in producing such an event in Missoula. Just maybe an equitable solution for next year’s event will come out of this. We know that the Creator does things for a reason. Hopefully positive changes for those hard working committees who host college and community powwows with little resources will to benefit them as well.
    Maybe the Kyi-Yo Club can again set the example for others to follow. It is my belief that this will all thelp turn things around. UM should pitch in and finacially support the most viisble expression of cultural diversity enriching everyone. I’m not saying to now sponsor a Big Prize Money Powwow but to enable the students to present an event that is respected and renowned at the same time. Out of lemons we make lemonade, or should I say out of plain old flour we make frybread.
    Chris Roberts
    Kyi-Yo Alumnus 1967-70, 1971-73

  46. BLACKFEET says:

    To whom it may concern:

    I am a BLACKFEET member of the BLACKFEET TRIBE…I am here to stand up for my FELLOW TRIBAL MEMBER AND FORMER KYI-YO ADVISOR OF the 2009 POW WOW…we all know who she is. Thanks to the public announcement made by a former U of M student; that early Sunday morning of the Pow Wow, who was trying to lay blame on her and the BLACKFEET TRIBE for their short comings of funding.

    I am here to support my fellow BLACKFEET and former Kyi-Yo Advisor…for some of you that do not know she had advised the Kyi-yo program for many years, and before last year she had never had any major student problem(s) or Kyi-Yo committee problems that could not be resolved in a healthy manner. She also had great reviews from the Adam Center and the University for the way she assisted with the Kyi-yo Pow wow; not to mention how she pulled time away from her own personal and family life to assist with the Kyi-Yo Pow Wow.

    So while she WAS advisor of the Kyi-yo committee there has never been a short coming of this nature.

    Her is an FYI for those of you who must know: Last year, certian individuals tried to get her fired because of selfish accusation…there was even a full audit done on her and she was not found guilty of any wrong doing everything she has ever done for the Kyi-yo Pow wow has always been well documented…however, last year the one thing that faild her was the support that she should have received from her fellow Kyi-Yo advisor(s).

    From the phone calls that I have received the next moring I am very sadded, that such people/person(s) could stoop so low to put blame on a person or name a TRIBE for that matter.

    As I read from this site all I kept reading was lets stand up and support our committee. Well yes, lets support the committee only to the point of a good job on shaming the U of M and their fellow students.

    Fredricka Hunter says, “These are students who stepped up to the plate to make it happen and by all accounts, many people had a good time. The only thing these students have, is their names and their honor. We are going to try to find ways to help them restore their honor and their name. Please…all of you reading this, please reach into your hearts, gather around these students and offer your prayers and support. Kyi-yo has been in existence 48 years and it will come back bigger and better next year. We as Indian people need to support one another! We have enough oppression and obstacles in our lives, let us be there for one another.” But what about the honor and the name of the PAST ADVISOR AND TRIBE that the person(s) layed blame on?

    We must all understand that the old days of fighting about who’s from what tribe and who can do what better does not serve any purpose or accomplishments to anyone while here at the University of Montana, because when all is said and done we are just here to better ourselves to rise above what Fredricka calls the “oppression and obstacles in our lives.” as Native People.


  47. KYIYO KNOW IT ALL says:

    I dont not understand why people are trying to blame crows when there is in fact no Crow officers or members. None of the officers are crow so lets just get that cleared up so we can get to the bottom of what really happened in 2010. If you want to blame anybody blame the two blackfeet officers that quit because of their incompetence in fall of 2009 and their lack of commitment to fundraise for the powwow. Just think if they cooperated and tried to be positive in their fundraising process they would have proved stereotypes of blackfeet wrong. The word on the indian grapevine is that some not all blackfeet have this attitude of entitlement that makes them believe that everybody owes them something which in fact a joke, and that blackfeet are jealous, envious, and ungrateful. Last year Kyiyo had problems with blackfeet because two sisters who knew how to run a successful powwow were not blackfeet and females which to blackfeetc club members made it seem like they were incapable of running kyiyo successfully. Of course they were proved wrong and the kyiyo powwow 2009 was the most successful kyiyo powwow to date. Kyiyo was in the black in fall2009 not the red like 4 years ago and before. The profit money was then mismanaged by the two stooges from browning and used to buy more of the native griz wear that has been a loss to kyiyo since its illegal existence. NATIVE GRIZ THE FRAUDALENT SON OF KYIYO moving on, So think about it 2 months before the powwow two officers quit, which leaves the burden on inexperienced club members to scramble together and find someone to lead them to the promised land. Thats like me driving 80 mph on the highway and asking my 3 year old child to take the wheel for 500 miles so I can rest. It is just not going to turn out very well is the point of te analogy. 2 months is not enough time to fundraise and plan this powwow which is all done by the hard working students who dont ask for anything but to be apart of a great event and club.

    People dont realize the amount of stress that kyiyo puts on students and their families, which even causes many students to have spousal problems, withdraw from school, and have bad grades. The whole point of being in Kyiyo is to be a part of an indian community away from home. The amount of groundwork that must be put into the kyiyo powwow is so demanding that many people quit before they can provide any kind of support to kyiyo. The hiring of the program assistant makes an even bigger problem for students to be successful as the program assistant isnt on the same page as the students which creates tension. THE real problem is bob duringer, mary muse, and the adams center not respecting the tradition of the kyiyo native american student association. Once dennsion is gone Kyiyo is on its own which will be like sending a lamb to the wolves. Kyiyo has had some many problems these last two semesters that I find it very sad that people are simply complaining with uneducated opinions about how kyiyo should have been. Kyiyo had an off year big deal it is not the end of the world and Kyiyo owes nobody anything, is not responsible for short funded travelers, divorces, accidents, and has the authority to change its payout even if the adams center guts their account, confiscates its door money, and any other revenue that comes kyiyo’s way.


  48. Former Member says:

    Maybe kyiyo needs to be taken from the university so that they can take a loss for once instead of always gaining from indian business that comes to missoula for kyiyo. Your welcome Uof M adams centers for all the money indians send ur way, we hope you enjoy stacking your profits as kyiyo club members sink into a sea of negativity. Thank you U of M for adding to the problem rather than the solution !






  50. UM Student says:

    I dont understand what the compensation is suppose to resolve? The points that were all totaled up, were not releveant at all! Didnt the so called committee loose all the points from satruday contests?? You can clearly see that all the points were lost. hello they were announcing juniors then adults then teens then juniors! i mean come on!!!! all the ladies who danced in the those dance offs DID NOT PLACE!!! they were handing out wrong envelopes left and right!!!

    So I do not understand what giving out more money you do not have is going to resolve!!! money is what makes a pow wow. get over it, your little traditional powwows “dance for the people” are held at your own reservations! its true for everyone!!!!

    I do not think trying to spend more money you do not have will do anything. save the money and get kyiyo back on its feet next year!! have more pow wow people get in there, advocate! move the pow wow outside! under a tent!!!! why spend 80000 to rent something!!!!

    Over all the pow wow was a success and i think getting them selves back on their feet, getting a great line up next year is what will save them!!!

  51. Patricia says:

    I am appalled as I continue to read the various comments and concerns regarding last weekends mishap. As a life long dancer and competitor I am finding little of no support provided to the singers and dancers of this pow-wow, that traveled far and near. If you do not have the dancers and singers, then you would not have a pow-wow. But the focus and request is to provide the necessary support to this student committee for their short-fall. I truley agree to host a contest powwow it takes a lot of dedication and work to have a successful event, and know this by experience. For years this powwow is known and has a history to be a competition/contest powwow. So please, do not be so harsh on the dancers and singers that prepare and travel to compete and expect to be awarded for their accomplishments. It almost sounds like that the dancers and singers are at fault. It was stated that dancers should dance for the likings and just because they want too. Yes, that should be the intent and Yes, maybe 30 years ago. However, as time progressed mainstream america has also effected the traditional powwows with the direction of the almighty dollar. Those days to dance for socialization and because you want too, are gone. We are totally in a new generation and how many of us can actually go without our blackberries and computers? I do hope for the best of out-come for this committee, but still have those unanswered questions, due to the report provided by Ms. Fredricka Hunter, that the committee had the awareness of their short-fall at 5:00pm on Saturday. These students are at the university level academically, and did they really think they could make up the difference from 50/50’s and raffels? Iam sure they worked really hard to do so and do commend them for all their efforts, but if they knew at 5:00pm why did they continue to allow elders, children, and families to remain and wait until 3:00am for an ANNOUNCEMENT!

  52. Blackfeet Grandma says:

    I TOTALLY ENJOYED THE POW WOW!!!! I got to watch my grandchildren dance. I visited with family members that I had’nt seen for sometime. I even visited with neighbors from down the creek that I never seem to have the time to visit. The Arts & Crafts concessions were great! Although I’m not an expert at drum grou[ps, they all sounded great to me! Missoula is a beautiful place to visit. The weather was outstanding. Got a good parking space this time. Got a good seat to watch the dances. Yep, God is Good! I sincerely appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in putting on the Kyi-Yo PowWow. I will certainly try to attend the dance next year. Hope to see less specials and honorings. End the dance at a reasonable time. Maybe try having a committee member from each tribe? Wow would’nt that be something to see if these Tribe’s could get along.

  53. Rusty Nails says:

    Hey Jodi Rave, “It’s a great disappointment to see the Kyi-Yo students in this situation. I hope someone makes good on the contest payouts for all the drummers, singers and dancers who should have been paid.”

    You instigated this thread. You make money off of writing about us ndn folk, why don’t you pay the contest money since you think it’s so important.
    Writing about something you know nothing about.

    • Jodi Rave says:

      Dear Rusty Nails:
      I write this blog on my time. On my own dime. I am a full-time graduate student at the University of Montana. As an enrolled tribal member, I am writing about what I know about. I was dancing this weekend with my daughter because I like to dance and because my little girl likes to dance.
      Peace and prayers.

  54. Rusty Nails says:

    Well since we are both broke, will you marry me 🙂

  55. Rest of the story says:

    Hmmmm Rusty Nails….what does that mean?? Doesn’t sound too promising Jodi. I have to say you will have to let that guy pass on by. Lol.

    Thank you Patricia & U of M student! Finally somebody gets the point. There still needs to be a complete audit of the dance contest and other points. I do feel badly for the students who were setup to fail. Now everyone should know that there’s a right and a wrong way to have a successful contest powwow. The dancers and singers are NOT just a bunch of greedy money driven indians with no traditional values. Is that what they say about the cowboys that travel the rodeo circuit? They’re just a bunch of greedy money hungry cowboys/girls with no real values?

    Sunshine must be blinded by the sun because she said dancers and singers should get a real job and get an education. Well that illustrates the biased mentality that indians aren’t equals in society. She sure wouldn’t
    say a pro rodeo cowboy/girl who makes a living on the rodeo circuit should get a real job and an education. What a double standard! But in fact there are excellent highly educated dancers with PhD’s who win and travel the country to contest powwow and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that it”s not a sure thing.
    At least when you are told you are competing for the prize, that you should be able to believe it’s actually going to be there and that college level students can tabulate points and also know you can’t come up with $12,000 in a matter of 7 hours unless you’re doing something illegal.

    It was a good effort although I don’t buy it because I don’t think they even had the money counted out yet until the end. That’s how unprepared they were because none of the committee members were even letting on or discussing the fact that they were so short. Instead they were more worried about getting the results figured out& then found there was no $. I sat there and heard it all. So did a few others.

  56. danc'n ndn says:

    THANK YOU Blackfeet, Rest of the Story and UM student, You all tell it like we all seen it. It wasnt poor poor pityful committee members who worked their a**s off, they was the ones who got caught up in their own lies and deception. IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF LAST YEARS ADVISOR…..the audit was done and proved her innocent. DId she have the loyalty of freddie hunter behind her, HECK NO!!! But shes here to defend these ones who let down a whole lot of tribal people from various tribes, i would watch my reputation if i was you freddie hunter, lets call a total audit on these people who was “chicken scratching” the results. Also if these two sisters who made so much money for the club and know all there is to know about running a pow wow and are so loyal to kyi yo then why was the money short, they made so much money for the club last year. Also they was sittin there on their lawn chairs right by the struggling club why dint they get up and offer their services and knowledge…?? Also this fraudulent Native Griz wear that is a total loss for the club, when I went to get some for Christmas presents the bookstore said they cannot keep it on the shelves and it has been popular since it came out. They also announced that people was giving hundreds of dollars for next years royalty competition, where is that money at? THIS IS A TOTAL MESS, NO ONE WILL NEVER KNOW THE TRUE WINNERS, THE 09/10 officers and their supporters totally ruined the reputation of Kyi-yo Pow wow…

  57. Fredricka says:

    Personally, I decided it is time to move on from the blog. I find that it is consuming much time and energy and there are bigger issues to address. However, one last comment. To dancn’ ndn: In defense of the officers from 09…they are strong leaders, they too took on a very challenging task and had a successful pow-wow. Through the thick and thin of the many challenges they faced, they had a very successful powwow! The incident with this pow-wow had nothing to do with the 09 leadership or events from the past. You stated they sat in their lawn chairs… well they fulfilled their commitment last year and have different priorities. One of the sisters is in a professional school which requires discipline and dedication. There is nothing wrong with coming out to enjoy watching dancers and listening to good drums and supporting the pow-wow. The other has also moved on with her Educational goals and wanted to be there to enjoy as well. Both are well respected dancers. You can’t blame what happened this year on this last years officers. Each year new officers are elected and each face different challenges. Let’s all move on…please….

  58. jeff says:

    shame on who ever set them up! BETTER luck next time

  59. Elrae Potts says:

    It really does break my heart to see all the negative comments. I am disheartened by the way people are continuing to blame, point fingers, discriminate against other tribes, and talk smack to people on here. For real… I am very disappointed!!!

    I will keep praying however… that is about all I can do.

  60. Navajo of the Flathed Nation says:

    i would like to high five jodi rave. haha GO NAVAJOZ. 😀 but i was there untill 3pm when i herd this, and when they said they didnt have money i said f this and took off. I was happy to see old friends from last yearz powwow trail who didnt have much money when the got to the powwow. Hell they camped out in the parking lot for the two dayz and another one camped on the grass NEXT to the parking lot. But it was sad to see them like that.i was also working one day and herd from one of the mothers that was there, say that one of the boyz who placed in teenz. NOT EVEN FIRST,but in 2nd he took home $140 dollerz.( she was a anti to the boy) And another teenboyz Contestant who also had 2nd took home only $20 dollers. I was so sad i cryed for that young man, because he was a dear friend of mime. I cryed with him that night. It was a perty good powwow until the end. But it was going down hill by second session any way. I was dancing and i noticed poeple were goin the othere way when they danced. You have to dance they way the river flowz. You are on this side of the montins, dance the right way!!!!! Just because your off the rez. YOU HAVE TO RESPECT THE TRIBE IN THAT TERRITORY. AND IN THIS CASE THE SALISH AND KOOTENAI POEPLE. Missoula was once part of the flathead rez. AND once the center of the Flathead territory! AND IT STILL IS CONSIDERED PART OF OUR TERRITORY, BECAUSE MOST OF US GO TO ZOOTOWN ON WEEKENDS AND AFTER PERCAP IS OUT! ….. After second session grand entry i went out side to my car, parked at the back of the lot, and i seen an ALMOST STABING between a crow man and a man i think of as a dear brother A SALISH MAN. And yes i called the copz, but hell. The ONE thing that Pissed me off was what the crow guy said. ” F**K YOU, YOU DUM ASS FLATHEAD. I”LL TAKE OVER THIS TERRITORY. CROW NATION FOREVER.” Could you think, your own older brother could die at the hand of a drunk native Who wants to take over your own trible territory, and all he wantz to do is have a good time with his girlfriend and little sister. Copz told me they would in form the police at the powwow, who acted as security…. NO ONE CAME!!!! NO ONE CAME TO HELP MY DEAR BROTHER, NO ONE CAME TO TAKE AWAY THIS DRUNK MAN… NOTHING!!! and after that i thought, as i sat there in my lown chair on the powwow floor. Why are there so many crows this year. It was normily Blackfeet. I have nothing against The crown nation, i have many good friends from there. But womans crow catigory. wtf! You should of had womans post dancers. AND WHATZ THE DIFFRENCE BETWEEN MENS CROW AND MEN TRADITIONAL…. now, there may be a diffrence between the two but i just dont see it. and why crow…. yes, there where many crow poeple there but IS THIS THER LANDS. NO, ITS SALISH. YOU HAVE THE OLD SALISH TREE DOWN THE HIGH WAY FROM ZOOTOWN. not even 20 min out of town and there it is. AND THIS TOWN ACTED AS THE SOUTHE BORDER TO THE FLATHEAD REZ WHEN THIS REZ WAS MADE. im sorry if this sound like i hate or dislike the crow poeple. Like i said, i have many good friends from that nation, and i love them all as if they were brothers and sisters. But it pissed me off. I also had a VARY dear friend of mine run for MISS KYI-YO. And she didnt want to do it, but many poeple told her to do it. SO she ran for MISS TEEN KYI-YO BUT SHE WAS TOLD SHE WAS SWITCHED INTO THE RUNNING FOR THE MISS KYI-YO AT THE LAST MINUTE. And i was standing there when a woman behind me said, (After the crowning) O she was the only one that ran for MISS TEEN KYI-YO. I was even more pissed, and i said. ” MY GIRL RAN FOR MISS TEEN. AND TEHY TOLD HER SHE WAS SWICHED TO MISS KYI-YO, THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO SWITCH A PERSON, WITH OUT TELLING THEM FIRST. ” I later talked to that girl, and she was in tears, She said, all but one of the new pricesses where from crow nation. and during intervew, MOMs and OTHER poeple WERE IN THAT ROOM, EVEN THO THEY WERE ASKED TO LEAVE. AND MORE KEPT GOING IN AND OUT OF THE ROOM. THAT REALLY PISSES ME OFF. I THINK IT WAS FIXED AND THE GIRLS AND THERE MOTHERS THAT WERE ALSO RUNNING SAID THEY THINK IT WAS FIXED ALSO!!!! >:( it pisses me off…. and they same woman that stood behind me during the crowning said this. ” WHY DOS THAT OTHER GIRL DANCE WITH THEM STICKS. SHE IS A TARIBLE DANCER. I DONT THINK SHE CAN EVEN PLACE ANY WERE.” MY GIRL IS A GRATE DANCER AND SHE PLACES AT MANY POWWOWS. AT GATHERING OF NATIONS SHE PLACED 6TH, AND WAS ONE POINT OFF FROM 5TH THIS YEAR… I FELT LIKE HITTING THAT WOMAN. But i told her. ” SHE PLACES ALL OVER THE NORTH AND SOUTH WEST. AND THAT DANCE IS A SPRIT DANCE. A DANCE THAT IZ RESPECTED ALL OVER THIS AREA. SHE DANCES BECAUSE SHE IS CHASING OFF BAD THINGS SO EVERY ONE WILL BE SAFE. YOU BETTER RESPECT HER OR THEY WILL COME FOR YOU. AND I WILL TOO, IF YOU DONT SHUT YOUR F**KING MOUTH!!!! THATZ A POWERFUL DANCE!!!!!” and i tern to see. LOW AND BEHOLD THIS WOMAN IN A CROW DRESS……as i sat, I SEEN ELDERZ BEING KICKED OUT OFF THE ELDERZ SEATING AREA. WTF! AND THEY WERE KIDZ KICKING OUT AND PUSHING THE ELDERS OUT OF THE WAY…. I had to YELL at the for not having respect for there elders. Pthe powwow at first look was grate, it was awsome, and epic….. BUT when you get to know it more, like i did it was a SAD thing to see, JUST OFFAL.! You could of had better security, Not as many specials, (i only danced 4 times that weekend) FEATHERS DIDNT GET PICKED UP THE RIGHT WAY!

  61. Bruce says:

    I dont not understand why people are trying to blame crows when there is in fact no Crow officers or members. None of the officers are crow so lets just get that cleared up so we can get to the bottom of what really happened in 2010. If you want to blame anybody blame the two blackfeet officers that quit because of their incompetence in fall of 2009 and their lack of commitment to fundraise for the powwow. Just think if they cooperated and tried to be positive in their fundraising process they would have proved stereotypes of blackfeet wrong. The word on the indian grapevine is that some not all blackfeet have this attitude of entitlement that makes them believe that everybody owes them something which in fact a joke, and that blackfeet are jealous, envious, and ungrateful. Last year Kyiyo had problems with blackfeet because two sisters who knew how to run a successful powwow were not blackfeet and females which to blackfeetc club members made it seem like they were incapable of running kyiyo successfully. Of course they were proved wrong and the kyiyo powwow 2009 was the most successful kyiyo powwow to date. Kyiyo was in the black in fall2009 not the red like 4 years ago and before. The profit money was then mismanaged by the two stooges from browning and used to buy more of the native griz wear that has been a loss to kyiyo since its illegal existence. NATIVE GRIZ THE FRAUDALENT SON OF KYIYO moving on, So think about it 2 months before the powwow two officers quit, which leaves the burden on inexperienced club members to scramble together and find someone to lead them to the promised land. Thats like me driving 80 mph on the highway and asking my 3 year old child to take the wheel for 500 miles so I can rest. It is just not going to turn out very well is the point of te analogy. 2 months is not enough time to fundraise and plan this powwow which is all done by the hard working students who dont ask for anything but to be apart of a great event and club.

    People dont realize the amount of stress that kyiyo puts on students and their families, which even causes many students to have spousal problems, withdraw from school, and have bad grades. The whole point of being in Kyiyo is to be a part of an indian community away from home. The amount of groundwork that must be put into the kyiyo powwow is so demanding that many people quit before they can provide any kind of support to kyiyo. The hiring of the program assistant makes an even bigger problem for students to be successful as the program assistant isnt on the same page as the students which creates tension. THE real problem is bob duringer, mary muse, and the adams center not respecting the tradition of the kyiyo native american student association. Once dennsion is gone Kyiyo is on its own which will be like sending a lamb to the wolves. Kyiyo has had some many problems these last two semesters that I find it very sad that people are simply complaining with uneducated opinions about how kyiyo should have been. Kyiyo had an off year big deal it is not the end of the world and Kyiyo owes nobody anything, is not responsible for short funded travelers, divorces, accidents, and has the authority to change its payout even if the adams center guts their account, confiscates its door money, and any other revenue that comes kyiyo’s way.


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