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Ookiye Owas Iyekiyewicakiyapi

Recognizing All the Staff – Helping with the SMSC Wacipi

Juaquin Hamilton Youngbird:
Master of Ceremonies

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community welcomes Jauquin Hamilton Youngbird to the 2023 SMSC Wacipi as Master of Ceremonies.

From Juaquin Hamilton Youngbird:

Juaquin Hamilton Youngbird is an enrolled member of the Sac and Fox Nation. He also represents the Cheyenne, Pawnee, Otoe- Missouria, Kiowa, Apache, & Tonkawa Tribes. He currently resides in Shawnee, Oklahoma with his family.

With an introduction into the arena at an early age, he has always carried a love for his culture and traditions.

Over the years, he has also held many different head staff positions including Master of Ceremonies at powwows throughout the United States and Canada.

Juaquin gives thanks to the creator for all the blessings he has received throughout his life and would like to extend his gratitude to the committee for asking him to serve as Master of Ceremonies for this year’s powwow. He would also like to wish his friends and relatives an enjoyable experience at this year’s celebration.

Ketepi, (Thank you)

Whitney Rencountre:
Master of Ceremonies

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is pleased to welcome Whitney Rencountre back to the Arena at Master of Ceremonies for the 2023 SMSC Wacipi.

From Whitney Rencountre:

Whitney Rencountre II is Hunkpati Dakota from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and is the CEO of the Crazy Horse Memorial. He is also the co-founder and official emcee of Social Distance Powwow, with 300,000 members in over 100 countries around the world. In 2017, Rencountre was named one of 605 Magazine’s South Dakota Young Leaders. He was also a 2019 Honoree of the Western South Dakota Child Protection Council. Rencountre is the former Chairman of the South Dakota Humanities Council and Visit Rapid City. For 11 years, he was the Director of the Ateyapi Program, a culturally based mentoring program working with over 1,000 students each year in the Rapid City Area School District.

Rencountre has served as emcee for the following celebrations: Black Hills Powwow, United Tribes International Powwow, SMSC Wacipi, Prairie Island Dakota Wacipi, Four Bears MHA Powwow, Lower Brule Powwow, Mosquito First Nation, Summer Solstice Powwow, University of Oklahoma Powwow, Lumbee Nation Powwow, Meherrin Nation Powwow, Indio California Powwow, Black Hills State University Powwow, Virginia Tech Powwow, UC Berkeley Powwow, University of Oklahoma Powwow, University of South Dakota Powwow, University of Denver Powwow, University of Mary Powwow, South Dakota Indian Education Conference, United Tribes Tribal Leaders Summit, and the Lakota Foods Summit.

Yahsti Perkinskiller:
Arena Director

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is pleased to welcome Yahsti Perkinskiller back as Arena Director for the 2023 SMSC Wacipi. Perkinskiller served in the same role at last year’s event and previously served as Head Men’s Judge at the SMSC Wacipi.

From Yahsti Perkinskiller:

I’ve been dancing since before I can remember. My father, Vernon, brought us all over powwow country, to enjoy and share this way of life with friends we call our extended family. As time went on, my travels led me to my wife, Lady. Seventeen years later, life has come full circle as we now take our children across powwow country, so they can enjoy this way of life.

Clifton Goodwill:
Arena Director

Clifton Goodwill makes his return to the SMSC Wacipi in 2023 as Arena Director. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community proudly welcomes him back to the event.

From Clifton Goodwill:

Greetings family and friends! My name is Clifton Goodwill. I am from the Ojibwe, Cree, Lakota, and Dakota Nations. I am originally from the Pasqua & Standing Buffalo First Nations of Saskatchewan, Canada but currently reside in Reserve, Kansas. I would like to sincerely extend in appreciation my heartfelt gratitude to the 2023 SMSC Wacipi Committee for inviting me to serve as this year’s Arena Director. I wish everyone the best of luck in both song and dance, but most of all I wish everyone to have fun and enjoy one another! Thank you.

Gabe Desrosiers:
Head Singing Judge

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is pleased to welcome Gabe Desrosiers to the 2023 SMSC Wacipi as Head Singing Judge.

From Gabe Desrosiers:

Gabe Desrosiers (Misko Ginew) is a highly respected and well-recognized Anishinaabe singer, dancer, and educator. A first speaker of Anishinaabemowin born and raised in Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Desrosiers was taught the ancient life ways and language of his Anishinaabe ancestors. He identifies himself as being from the Bear Clan of the Anishinaabe nation. As a result of his traditional upbringing, Desrosiers was taught the sacredness of songs, stories, and prayers. As a young child, he took special interest in learning songs and began singing at an early age.

Ultimately, uniting his multiple strengths, Desrosiers serves as an ambassador of indigenous life ways. As an educator, he is strongly committed to fostering intercultural understanding through song, dance, and Anishinaabe language, education, and instruction.

Desrosiers is an instructor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in Native American studies. He then earned a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in Indigenous language revitalization from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in teaching and learning with a focus on Indigenous education from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

John Richards:
Head Men’s Judge

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is pleased to welcome John Richards to the 2023 SMSC Wacipi as Head Men’s Judge.

From John Richards:

Hau mitakuyapi, Peji Hota Hoksila emaciyapi yelo, wagmiza wakpala el wablawa yelo. Chante ma wast’e na wiyuska waciyanke lo.
Greetings friends and relatives. My name is John Richards, I reside in the PassCreek District in the Corn Creek Community area of the buffalo pasture, north of Allen, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I am very honored and humbled to be called upon to serve as the Head Men’s Judge for this year’s SMSC Wacipi. Growing up amongst the powwow circle, I have danced grass, fancy, and traditional from tiny tots to junior boys on into adults. I always enjoyed completing the summer celebrations at the SMSC Wacipi before heading back to school and work. I obtained a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Haskell Indian Nations University with aspirations of continuing my path of education to emphasize special education. After spending three years working with Project AWARE/ SAHMSA (a trauma informed culturally based awareness implementation into tribal schools at American Horse School), I have transitioned into the position of Youth and Family Specialist at Thunder Valley CDC.

I believe that amongst education, cultural identity is the foundation of flourishing in the two worlds we exist in as Indigenous people. As an educator and spiritual leader, I advocate for our traditional ways of life and ceremonies. When I am not in the powwow circle, I am a helper at many sun dance lodges and lead my tiospaye’s lodge. Throughout the year, I also put forth efforts of creator’s works in the Native American Church; peyote way of life.

For generations to come, it is up to us to keep the spirit of our ancestors’ traditions and teachings alive. There is a spirit of good health and wellness within the song and dance in celebrating life at the Wacipi Oyanke. Continuing to dance and sing for the youth to have a pathway and outlet to protect them on the red road of life. Building resilience and encouragement to all relatives as we face many adversities as Indigenous peoples. I hope everyone has a blessed weekend with relatives and friends near and far and come home to good thoughts and memories of the SMSC Wacipi to last through the upcoming year, wicozani wokiya yuha na wopila tanka iciciya.

Redwing Thomas:
Master of Ceremonies

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community looks forward to welcoming Redwing Thomas back to the Arena as Master of Ceremonies for the 2023 SMSC Wacipi.

From Redwing Thomas:

H’upahu Duta (Redwing Thomas) comes from the lands of the Isanti Dakota Nation of Santee, Nebraska. Thomas serves as the Cultural Director for the Isanti Community School and the MS/HS Dakota Language Teacher. He is also the Cultural Advisor/Language Instructor for the Nebraska Indian Community College in Santee.
H’upahu Duta is and has been a long-time spokesman/advocate of the Dakota language. He is known throughout Indian Country for teaching language, sharing cultural concepts, promoting Dakota Life­Ways, and motivating young people to be proud of who they are.

When he’s not holding the mic as an Eyapaha (Master of Ceremonies), H’upahu Duta travels the United States and Canada with the Mato Pejuta drum group. He loves to sing, he loves the beauty of music, he loves to dance, and most of all he loves his family. He is a proud father of seven and an overjoyed grandfather to an extremely special grandson.

Hokah Sound:

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is excited to once again welcome Hokah Sound and Dale Roberts to the SMSC Wacipi Grounds in 2023.

From Hokah Sound:

Hokah Sound is an independent Native family owned and operated sound company out of Atwood, Oklahoma. We have been in the sound business since 2007. We are very fortunate to be in this business, lucky enough to provide the sound for all the major powwows throughout the United States and Canada.

We are fortunate to have friends like Larry “Amik” Smallwood and Mack Kingbird, thanks to the two of them for giving us the opportunity to show what we can do.

Our service includes the central sound as well as FM radio for those who camp and from time to time we advertise by live feed. We want to say thank you to SMSC Wacipi Committee for giving us the opportunity to provide the central sound for the celebration for many, many years.

And to each and every one of you, thank you for the continued support.


Dale Roberts
Hokah Sound