The tepee, purchased by MSU President Geoff Gamble and Allen Yarnell, MSU vice president of student affairs for the members of MSU's American Indian Council, replaces an AIC tepee defaced last fall. It will be set up at one of the favored sites for the proposed MSU American Indian Student Center. The traditional blessing ceremony for the new tepee signifies a new beginning, according to one of MSU's Indian leaders.
"In our cultural values, when a family gets a new lodge, the tribe comes together and blesses the lodge and the family with wishes to do well," said Brad Hall of Browning, co-chair of the MSU AIC chapter. "We would like to correlate this traditional ceremony with our school."
Henrietta Mann, special assistant to Gamble as well as a respected Native educator and Cheyenne prayer woman, will assist with the blessing ceremony.
"The AIC chapter has been blessed with a new home," Mann said. She added that members of MSU's Council of Elders, a presidential advisory council made up from elders from all of Montana's tribes, will also "be coming from all directions to bless the new lodge and give blessings for this season of new life and wishes for new beginnings, success, long life and good health."
"We are joyful about this new tepee because our students have a new home," she added.
MSU's Native Water's program has invited guests from tribes throughout Montana and South Dakota to erect tepees adjacent to the AIC tepee on the Hannon Hall lawn to form an honor encampment. The public is invited to watch the raising of tepees.
The year's MSU Indian issues conference, "Native Nexus: Integrating Arts and Science at the Missouri River Headwaters," will be held April 13-15 in the MSU Student Union Building. A complete listing of speakers and activities can be found at the Native Waters' website: http://btc.montana.edu/tech/nexus/7Agen.htm.
The 30th annual MSU American Indian Council Pow Wow is scheduled April 15-16 at the MSU's Brick Breeden Fieldhouse with the grand entry at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 15. There will also be grand entries at noon and 6 p.m. Saturday, April 16. A free buffalo chili dinner will be served at 4:30 p.m. April 16. The pow wow is free and open to the public. MSU alumnus and noted artist Kevin Red Star will be an honored guest and will be available to autograph posters of one of his pieces of art that he donated to help fund the pow wow and student scholarships. For more information on the pow wow, contact Jim Burns (406) 994-4880 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Center for Native American Studies, (406) 994-3881.
Contact: Corlann "Corky" Bush (406) 994-2042, Jim Burns, 994-4880