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A virtual version of Canada’s prime powwow, heart-stopping horse races, and a smokin’ hot shopping opportunity for Indigenous fashion fans are ready and set to go this weekend and next week in Indian Country.

Which exhilarating events will you choose? Let Native News Online lead the way.

Manito Ahbee Virtual Powwow

WHEN: May 21 at 10 AM PDT – May 24 at 1 PM PDT

WHERE: Manito Ahbee Festival Facebook, YouTube, website, Quarantine Dance Specials 2020 Facebook and Powwows.com

Manito Ahbee means “Where the Creator Sits” in the Ojibway language. The name was gifted to the Manito Ahbee Festival, which presents Canada’s biggest, most action-packed powwow. 

The Manito Ahbee Powwow traditionally takes place in person every year in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This year, the mega-event’s organizers invite you to “Ignite Your Spirit” at the virtual version of the Manito Ahbee Powwow, which is set to bounce and beat through this weekend with thirty dance categories and specials, including a beaded face mask contest and a weight loss challenge, and performances by invited drum and singing groups Poundmaker, Bullhorn and Cree Confederation.

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The cyber celebration starts with the lighting of the sacred fire at the Manito Ahbee Sacred Site in the western Whiteshell area of Manitoba, and also includes a virtual vendors market, and a “Getting Jiggy With It” competition where participants post hip hop jigs on Tik Tok, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #GETJIGGY2021. 

Engaging the Future: Conversations with Goodman Fellowship Artists

 LandofTheSkyBeings"Land of the Sky Beings" by Piikani Blackfeet artist Terran Last Gun. Last Gun will take part in the Zoom event Engaging the Future: Conversations with Goodman Fellowship Artists, on Wednesday, May 26. (Terran Last Gun)WHEN: Wednesday, May 26, 9 am. PDT

WHERE: nmculture-org.zoom.us

The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture’s Goodman Aspiring Artist Fellowship, established in 2016, equips emerging Indigenous artists with funds and support to enhance their work. 

MIAC, located in Santa Fe, is catching up with fellowship winners in a new monthly Zoom lecture series called Engaging the Future: Conversations with Goodman Fellowship Artists. In each installment, the fellows will Zoom in from their home studios for an hour-long chat about the art advancements they've made since receiving the fellowship 

The first fellow to be featured is Piikani Blackfoot artist Terran Last Gun, who received the fellowship in 2016. Born and raised in Browning, Mont., Last Gun uses bold, shaded geometric shapes to explore the layered interconnections of nature, sky and cultural narratives and memories.

Last Gun, who is currently based in Santa Fe, has plenty of successes to discuss. Since receiving the fellowship, he has amassed many honors and awards, including the First Peoples Fund’s 2020 Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship and the Santa Fe Art Institute’s 2018 Story Maps Fellowship.

Journeys in Spirit 2021: Traditional and Contemporary Native Art

WHEN: Friday, May 21 at 10 a.m. – June 22 at 5 p.m. PDT

WHERE: 'Tis Art Center and Gallery, Prescott, Ariz.

ClarksonSouthwest"The Wild Wild West," a portrait of Navajo artist Naiomi Glasses by Choctaw artist Karen Clarkson, is in the exhibit “Journeys in Spirit 2021: Traditional and Contemporary Native Art” at the 'Tis Art Center and Gallery in Phoenix through June 22. (Karen Clarkson)

Navajo weaver and contemporary culture bearer Naiomi Glasses is a role model on wheels.

Tik Tok videos of Glasses skateboarding on red sandstone on Navajo Nation, and her work raising funds for the Dine’ Skate Garden Project, which will bring a skateboard park to the Two Grey Hills/Toadliena community on the Navajo Nation, have garnered her coverage in Teen Vogue and many more major publications. 

Choctaw artist Karen Clarkson has alchemized Glasses’ zeal for skating and commitment and connection to the Navajo Nation into a fierce and layered work of art. “The Wild Wild West” is adapted from a photograph taken by Glasses’ brother Ty. 

In the painting, two powerful mirror images of Glasses, skateboard in hands, are superimposed over a map of the Southwest. It’s one of several works by Clarkson on display in Journeys in Spirit 2021: Traditional and Contemporary Native Art at the ‘Tis Art Center and Gallery in Prescott. 

“While Naiomi is an accomplished traditional weaver, she has a tremendous passion for skateboarding, which she took up at the age of four,” Clarkson said in an artist statement. “The making of ‘The Wild Wild West’ was quite the journey. Painting in oil on a paper map was invigorating, and the subject was inspiring.”

In the exhibit, Clarkson is joined by a lineup of leading Indigenous artists including Muskogee Creek painter MaryHelen Ewing, Cherokee beader and jewelry maker Kay Huston and Hopi painter Dewey Nelson III. 

Indian Relay Horse Racing and Festival 

WHEN: May 27 to May 31

WHERE: Osage County Fairgrounds, Pawhuska, Okla. General admission $10, reserved box seats are $20, and reserved RV space is $25 per night. Call 405-245-0730 or 918-338-9440 for reservations and more information. 

RelayThe Indian Relay Horse Racing and Festival will take place May 27 – May 31 at the Osage County Fairgrounds in Pawhuska, Okla. (Osage County Fairgrounds)

All Oklahoma Tribes are welcome to watch or take a wild ride at the first International Indian Relay Horse Racing and Festival. 

The Osage County Fairgrounds in Pawhuska will host the event, featuring teams from All Nations across the U.S. and Canada. Top teams and trainers will be on hand at the fest, which is focused on strengthening traditional tribal harmony with horse culture.  

Hooved highlights include pre-race ceremonies, children’s sheep races, and the International World Championship race. 

The festival is open to the public, and also features dancing, live music, and a Native vendor market offering art, crafts and food. 

Jamie Okuma Spring/Summer 2021 Pre-Sale

okumaJamie Okuma's spring/summer 2021 pre-sale begins Saturday, May 22 at 10 a.m.  WHEN: Saturday, May 22 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: jokuma.com

Are you ready for the launch of Indigenous fashion superstar Jamie Okuma’s new ready-to-wear collection?  

The Luiseño and Shoshone Bannock designer’s wearable art is everywhere right now, from Peacock’s “Rutherford Falls,” where members of the fictional Minishonka Tribe members proudly sport her beadwork, to the pages of InStyle and Ojibwe Vogue writer Christian Allaire’s new book “The Power of Style.”

On Saturday morning, shoppers will get a chance to snap up Okuma’s spring and summer collection items including flowing wraps, wild windbreakers and tees with birds and buffalo, and subtle scarves that perfectly complement the apparel.

Also a force in the world of fine art, Okuma is famous for her one-of-a-kind couture creations and funky footwear art adorned with bright beaded paintings, which have been featured in exhibitions including last year’s Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Okla. 

Okuma has accumulated four Best in Show awards from the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, three Best in Show awards from the Santa Fe Indian Market, and has work in the permanent collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art,  the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., the Denver Art Museum and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Have an upcoming event? Email us: [email protected]

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About The Author
Tamara Ikenberg
Author: Tamara Ikenberg
Tamara Ikenberg is a contributing writer to Native News Online. She covers tribes throughout the southwest as well as Native arts, culture and entertainment. She can be reached at [email protected]