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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 20-22, 2021.


The SMSC’s first and highest priority is the health and safety of our members, employees, and guests. Help us prevent community spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the following health and safety protocols, as developed and overseen by SMSC Tribal Public Health:

  • Visitors: Face coverings are strongly recommended, unless you are fully vaccinated. (Please note, face coverings are required on all shuttle buses.)
  • Dancers and Wacipi Contracted Staff: Face coverings are required, unless proof of vaccination is provided.
  • Invited Drum Groups: Face coverings are strongly recommended, unless proof of vaccination is provided.
  • Please practice social distancing whenever possible. If social distancing cannot be easily maintained (such as in the dance arena), face coverings are strongly encouraged.
  • All staff members are required to complete a daily health screening prior to reporting for work on-site.
  • If you think you may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please seek assistance from SMSC Tribal Public Health at the Mobile Unit.

Please be advised that SMSC Tribal Public Health is continuously monitoring the situation and will provide updated guidance as needed—please defer to all posted event signage and staff guidance upon arrival. If you have any questions, please seek assistance from SMSC Tribal Public Health at the Mobile Unit.

Throughout the 2021 Wacipi, SMSC Tribal Public Health will be offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at the Mobile Health Unit on the Wacipi grounds. The free vaccine will be available to individuals 18 years or older, and 12 years of age or older with parental consent. Vaccine times will be posted at the Mobile Health Unit.


Free Admission Entire Weekend

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

Saturday: 10pm

Dancer Registration
Friday: 12:30pm
Point system will begin Friday at Grand Entry. Registration closes Saturday at 12:30pm.

Featured Staff & Guests


Master of Ceremonies: Redwing Thomas, Vince Beyl, and Whitney Rencountre

Arena Directors: Chaske LaBlanc and Clifton Goodwill

Head Women’s Judge: Winona Tahdooahnippah

Head Men’s Judge: Brando Jack

Head Singing Judge: Anthony Monoessy

Sound: Hokah Sound

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

SMSC Wacipi Grounds are Located At:
3212 Dakotah Parkway
Shakopee, MN 55379

Dance Contests

Jr. Categories, 6-12:
Traditional, Grass/Jingle, Fancy
1st: $300, 2nd: $250, 3rd: $200, 4th: $150, 5th: $100, 6th: $50

Teen Categories, 13-17:
Traditional, Grass/Jingle, Fancy
1st: $500, 2nd: $400, 3rd: $300, 4th: $200, 5th: $150, 6th : $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: $800, 6th: $600
Sr., 35-54: 1st: $1,600, 2nd: $1,400, 3rd: $1,200, 4th: $1,000, 5th: $800, 6th: $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: $800, 6th: $600

Elders, 65+:
Men: All Categories
Women: All Categories
1st: $1,600, 2nd: $1,400, 3rd: $1,200, 4th: $1,000, 5th: $800, 6th: $600

Moccasin Games

Back for 2021
1st: $2,500, 2nd: $1,500, 3rd: $1,000, 4th: $800, 5th: $500

Drum Contents

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

Hand Drum Contest:
Details to be announced

2021-2022 SMSC Royalty

Celianna Thomas, Princess
Leila Brewer, Junior Princess