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Wacipi—or powwow—is a traditional Native American gathering, a celebration of life, pride, and honor. Meaning “they all 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 16-18, 2019.

A preview of this eventful weekend will take place on August 15 at 2pm at the SMSC’s Wacipi Exhibition. Taking place annually in the Mall of American Rotunda, Native American dancers will display a short preview of what’s to come throughout Wacipi weekend, including dancing, drumming, and culture. The fun and fellowship will continue August 16-18 at the SMSC Wacipi Grounds, located at 3212 Dakotah Parkway in Shakopee, just southwest of the Twin Cities.


Free Admission Entire Weekend

Grand Entry 
Friday: 7pm
Saturday: 1pm & 7pm
Sunday: 1pm

Saturday: 10pm

Dancer Registration
Friday: 3pm
Point system will begin Friday at Grand Entry. Registration closes Saturday at 12:45pm.

Featured Staff & Guests


Master of Ceremonies: Juaquin Hamilton, Ruben Little Head

Arena Director: Chaske LaBlanc, Clifton Goodwill

Head Women’s Judge: Acosia Red Elk

Head Men’s Judge: Yahsti Perkinskiller

Head Singing Judge: Anthony Monoessy

Sound: Dale Roberts, Hokah Sound

Color Guard: Sisseton-Wahpeton Kit Fox Society, Lakota Women Warriors

Tabulation: iCreeAzn

Drum Groups

Host: Northern Cree (Alberta), The Boyz (Minnesota)

Dakota Host Drum: Battling Horse (Manitoba)

Invited: Bear Creek, Black Bear, Bull Horn, High Noon, War Paint, Wakinyan Luta, Walking Buffalo, Cozad, MoTown, Southern Style

Dance Contests

Jr. Categories, 6–12:
Traditional, Grass/Jingle, Fancy

1st: $300, 2nd: $200, 3rd: $150, 4th: $100, 5th: $50

Teen Categories, 13–17:
Traditional, Grass/Jingle, Fancy
1st: $500, 2nd: $300, 3rd: $200, 4th: $150, 5th: $100

Adult Categories:
Men: Traditional, Fancy, Grass, Southern Straight, Chicken Dance
Women: Traditional, Fancy, Jingle, Southern Buckskin/Cloth (combined)

Jr., 18–34: 1st: $1,600, 2nd: $1,400, 3rd: $1,200, 4th: $1,000, 5th: $600
Sr., 35–54: 1st: $1,600, 2nd: $1,400, 3rd: $1,200, 4th: $1,000, 5th: $600

Golden Age, 55–64:
Men: Traditional/Southern Straight (combined), Fancy/Grass (combined)
Women: Traditional, Southern Buckskin/Cloth (combined), Fancy/Jingle (combined)
1st: $1,600, 2nd: $1,400, 3rd: $1,200, 4th: $1,000, 5th: $600

Elders, 65+:
Men: All Categories
Women: All Categories
1st: $1,600, 2nd: $1,400, 3rd: $1,200, 4th: $1,000, 5th: $600

Drum Contests

Invited Drums Only
1st: $7,000, 2nd: $6,000, 3rd: $5,000, 4th: $4,000, 5th: $3,000, 6th: $2,000, Consolation (4 Places): $1,000

New! Hand Drum:
Invited Drums Only
5 Places

2019-2020 SMSC Royalty

Sage Crooks, Junior Princess
Sara Coulter, Princess
Albert Borger, Brave
Travis Miller-Brewer, Junior Brave