Wacipi—or powwow—is a traditional Native American gathering, a celebration of life, pride, and honor. Meaning “they dance” in the Dakota language, today’s wacipi brings together people from all over the country for three days of celebrating in a good way. It is a time for preserving a rich heritage, while reconnecting with old friends and making new friends.
Grand Entry sets the stage for each day’s contests and activities, which includes a ceremonious entrance into the dance arena, led by a Native American veteran color guard, visiting dignitaries, and tribal royalty, followed by hundreds of dancers of all ages. Representing dozens of tribes from across the United States and Canada, dancers dressed in traditional regalia compete for top honors in various dance style categories and age groups, while drum groups and singers surround the perimeter of the arena. Native American artists and crafters display traditional beadwork, jewelry, and handmade goods, while food vendors offer a variety of tasty, authentic meals and treats.
The SMSC’s Wacipi attracts thousands of visitors each year to honor the history of a strong group of people. We invite you to be a part of this celebration with us here at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) for our annual wacipi in Shakopee, Minnesota, over the weekend of August 18-20, 2023.