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Powwow competition coming to Calgary Stampede in July

The Calgary Stampede in collaboration with Powwow Times is bringing an inaugural competitive powwow to the Stampede this year.

At stake over three days of competition is $175,000 in prize money, making this one of Canada’s largest competitive powwow events.

Indigenous competitors from across Canada and the United States are expected to participate. The event will be held from July 12–14 at the Saddledome. Admission to the powwow will be included in admission to the Stampede.

“Through traumas and residential schools, a lot of our people’s connection with their culture has been lost or broken, but through events like the Stampede Powwow, we are able to share the tradition of powwow, and help reconnect Indigenous peoples to their own culture, while introducing and sharing it with non-Indigenous peoples as well,” said Patrick Mitsuing, producer for Powwow Times.

Competition categories include Men’s Chicken, Men and Women’s Fancy, Men’s Grass, Women’s Jingle, and Men’s and Women’s Traditional and the Cowboy Special. Categories will be grouped in 18–34 years of age and 35+ age brackets.

The competition will also feature drummers and singers, which the Stampede said will provide the soundtrack for the competition.

“The Calgary Stampede features some of the best competitors in western events, including Rodeo and Chuckwagon racing, so it only makes sense that we are now bringing the best competitors in powwow to this years’ Calgary Stampede,” said Shannon Murray, manager for Indigenous engagement at the Calgary Stampede.

Applications to compete in the powwow are open now until June 15, 2022.