The 2019 Gathering of Nations Pow Wow & Miss Indian World Competition

The 2019 Gathering of Nations Pow Wow & Miss Indian World

Runner up Dinée Dorame (left), 2018 Miss Indian World Taylor Susan (center) and runner up Lori Martin Kingbird (right) pose for a photo. (Photo Credit: Gathering of Nations)

Online ticket sales have opened for the 2019 Gathering of Nations Pow Wow and Miss Indian World Competition at The 36th Annual Gathering of Nations events will begin Thursday, April 25, and run through Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Albuquerque N.M.  The Miss Indian World Talent Competition takes place at the Albuquerque Convention Center, and the Powwow takes place Friday and Saturday (April 26 & 27) on the “Powwow Grounds” At Expo NM/Tingley Coliseum.

Considered the most prominent, popular and legendary Native American event in North America, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow will host tens of thousands of people and include over 750 tribes from throughout the United States, Canada, and around the world.  The three-day festival features over 3,000 traditional Native American singers and dancers competing for prizes, and more than 800 Native artisans, craftsmen and traders will be participating, displaying and selling their work in the Indian Trader`s Market. New for 2019, the Indian Traders Market will be enhanced as the big vendor tent is gone. Stage 49 will feature a wide variety of musical entertainment by contemporary Indigenous and other musical groups, along with other exciting entertainment.  Roving performance groups will be seen in various locations around the powwow grounds, and performance line-ups are to be announced at a later date. The Native Food Court is expanded and offering guests a large variety of food choices along with traditional Native American fare.

The three-day festival will feature over three thousand traditional singers and dancers competing for prizes. (Photo Credit: Derek Mathews, Courtesy of Gathering of Nations Limited)

Miss Indian World Program:  A majestic and dynamic part of the Gathering of Nations is the crowning of Miss Indian World, who represents all Native and Indigenous people, and serves as a Goodwill Cultural Ambassador for one year.  The week-long Miss Indian World Competition is the largest and most prestigious cultural pageants for Native American and Indigenous women.   The contestants compete in areas inclusive of tribal knowledge; Personal Interview, Essay, Public Speaking, Traditional Presentation, and Traditional Dance. The Miss Indian World Contest is not a beauty pageant.

(Photo Credit: Derek Mathews, Courtesy of Gathering of Nations Limited)

The Gathering of Nations strives to give a positive cultural, spiritual, entertaining and exhilarating experience for all who attend.  This will be the second year for the Traditional Horse and Rider Regalia Parade; honors the “Horse Culture” of Native Tribes. The “Powwow Grounds” has provided the space and room to expand this featured event with increased occupant capacity. The Teepee Village on the powwow grounds a relaxing place to enjoy the ambiance of the powwow with friends.   At night the Powwow Grounds light up under entrancing colors of light enhancing the powwow experience.

Dates, Times, Locations, Additional Information:

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 7:00pm – Miss Indian World Competition at the Albuquerque Convention Center in downtown Albuquerque.

Friday, April 26, 2019, 12:00pm (noon) - The much-anticipated Grand Entry, where thousands of dancers simultaneously enter the dance floor inside Tingley Coliseum, dressed in colorful traditional regalia, to the sounds of rhythmic drums.  The Grand Entry will be repeated Friday evening at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, April 27, at 12 p.m. (noon) and 6 p.m.  The new Miss Indian World will be crowned on Saturday evening, at the powwow after the Grand Entry. In addition, reservations for on-sight camping, Miss Indian World Contestant Applications, Vendor Applications, Stage 49 Performance group Application & Info and Official Merchandise are available on the Gathering of Nations website.


Over the past 36 years the Gathering of Nations has grown from an early, simple dream to one of the world’s most recognized annual Native American festivals. The concept has always been to produce an annual event where Native peoples unite to celebrate and share culture, and singers and dancers can feel confident the prize competition is fair to all. The Gathering of Nations experience does not end when you leave and head for home, but lives on in your heart and mind.

How Buffalo Parts Are Used

By way of respect, tradition and self-sufficiency, after the hunt Native Americans used every part of the buffalo. The below illustrates how parts were utilized.

There are few publicly available videos on the subject matter. Editor's choice below. 

Video Credit: Julia Sweeney

Illustration Courtesy: South Dakota Historical Society 

The Department of Homeland Security's Special Partnership with Native Americans 

By Chuck Brooks

I remember attending an event at the Library of Congress several years ago when I was serving at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that highlighted the contributions Native Americans have made to DHS. I came away very impressed by the dedication and capabilities of Native Americans who serve in law enforcement, and the important role many are playing in securing our borders.

Unfortunately, Native American contributions to US national security have been largely unheralded. The Navajo Code Talkers of World War II played an amazing role in helping the US and its allies achieve victory in World War II. Today, over 22,000 Native Americans serve in the Armed Forces and have the highest per capita serving in the military of any ethnic group protecting the homeland.

At DHS, Native Americans  continue this proud tradition of service. DHS maintains the Tribal Desk within the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs as the designated lead for tribal relations and consultation at DHS. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have especially strong tribal partnerships. CBP works closely with Native American leaders to strengthen security along the nation’s Southwest and Northern borders, as many US Border Patrol sectors encompass Indian land adjacent to these borders.

Cooperation between DHS and tribal police has also significantly impacted the security of our borders, especially in remote areas where drug smugglers and others illegally seek to enter the United States. Native American lands also contain many critical infrastructures such as dams, power transmission facilities, oil and gas fields, railroads and interstate highways that are potential terrorist targets. Ongoing programs and projects at DHS have been established to maximize cooperation between federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to protect these vital infrastructure assets.

FEMA is engaged with Native Americans primarily to prepare for responding to emergencies. FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness is active in training Native Americans from 23 tribes and ten states in preparation for mass casualty responses to natural or man-made disasters. This training includes operating command center communications and medical and public healthcare operations. These realistic scenarios are also becoming part of online coursework and will no doubt improve protection of both people and land.

In 2010, DHS unveiled The Tribal and Coordination Plan, an initiative that calls for increased consultation and coordination with federally recognized tribes across the United States that builds on “current tribal partnerships to protect the safety and security of all people on tribal lands and throughout the nations.” Under the plan, DHS solicited feedback from all 564 federally-recognized tribes and hired a dedicated tribal liaison in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to serve as a central point of contact for tribal governments and coordinate the work of the tribal liaisons across the department.

The initiative also called for dedicating staff resources to tribal engagement and enhancing training for DHS tribal liaisons and other employees that regularly engage tribal governments and representatives; incorporating tribal public safety and law enforcement agencies into state and local fusion centers; development of a Tribal Resource Guide for tribal leadership that highlights pertinent DHS programs and initiatives; and collaboration with tribal governments in the development of DHS policies that have tribal implications. In addition, the plan calls for working across the federal government to formalize a “one stop shop” for tribal governments for emergency management mitigation, planning, response and recovery efforts.

DHS’s Tribal and Coordination Plan is a great foundation to expand on the cooperation with Native American Tribes. For example, with a major shortage of skilled cybersecurity workers at DHS as the department’s mandate is increasing in scope and responsibilities, it would be great if a serious effort were made by Congress and DHS to cultivate the next generation of cybersecurity experts from many of the economically depressed areas within the Indian tribes.

Investment by government, industry and academia to train Native Americans in an accelerated cybersecurity curriculum, combined with real world experience via internships and fellowships, would yield high dividends for America’s cyber-readiness. Further engagement of Native American Tribal partners that have a strong, proven heritage of dedication and service could be a blessing for the future of homeland security.

Reprinted from Homeland Security Today and Indian Country News

Charles (Chuck) Brooks was the Department of Homeland Security’s first Director of Legislative Affairs for the Science & Technology Directorate. A former faculty member of John Hopkins University, he is widely published on the topics of innovation, public/private partnerships, emerging technologies, homeland security and cybersecurity.