- By Native News Online Staff
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Last month, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organizers of the Gathering of Nations to cancel the 2020 powwow.
The annual Gathering of Nations, the country’s largest powwow, typically brings some 75,000 Native Americans and non-Native people to Albuquerque to watch 3,000 participants who represent over 750 tribes from the United States and Canada.
Since announcing the cancellation, Gathering of Nations organizers have decided to host a virtual powwow called “Gathering of Nations Virtual Experience.” The Experience will feature streaming video of the 2019 Gathering of Nations on two channels. One channel will feature an enhanced replay of last year's powwow, and the other is the replay of Stage 49 musical performances and bands.
The Virtual Experience via video stream will take place on Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, in real-time as if the event was taking place live on www.gatheringofnations.com and www.powwows.com.
The main attraction is a powwow featuring Native American drumming, singing and dancing inside Albuquerque’s Tingley Coliseum. Additionally, Native American musical performances are presented on the contemporary performance stage known as Stage 49.
Gathering of Nations Experience will offer interactive components, such as the Indian Trader`s Market in a virtual Shopping Experience, where viewers will be able to connect with vendors directly.
Official Gathering of Nations merchandise will be available online. Also, the souvenir program magazine will be available to download for free from the Gathering of Nations website. The magazine offers great articles and other information about powwow life.
Viewers will have the opportunity to make donations to other non-profits which are established to assist Native Americans during this pandemic. Information to the donation sites will be posted on the Gathering of Nations website.
According to Gathering of Nations organizers, a recent economic and fiscal impact study conducted by UNM BBER indicates the Gathering of Nations generates $24 million for the city of Albuquerque.
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