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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.

Note: The SMSC bans guns on all properties, including the SMSC Wacipi Grounds. Use and possession of illegal drugs, alcohol, cannabis, or cannabis products is also strictly prohibited. Any person who appears to be under the influence of any such substance will be asked to leave the SMSC Wacipi Grounds and immediately escorted off property.


Free Admission

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


Master of Ceremonies
Redwing Thomas
Juaquin Hamilton
Whitney Rencountre

Arena Directors
Clifton Goodwill
Yahsti Perkinskiller

Head Woman’s Judge
Grace Her Many Horses

Head Men’s Judge
John Richards

Head Singing Judge
Gabe Desrosiers

Hokah Sound

Color Guard
Sisseton-Wahpeton Kit Fox Society
Lakota Women Warriors

Dance Contests

Dancer Registration
Friday: 3pm
Registration will close at 6:45pm, and reopen after Grand Entry.
Point system begins Friday at Grand Entry.
Registration closes Saturday at 12:30pm.

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
1st: $1,600 • 2nd: $1,400 • 3rd: $1,200 • 4th: $1,000 • 5th: $800 • 6th: $600

Bronze, 18-29 • Silver, 30-43 • Gold, 44-54
MEN: Traditional, Fancy, Grass, Southern Straight, Chicken Dance
WOMEN: Traditional, Fancy, Jingle, Southern Buckskin/Cloth (Combined)

Platinum, 55-65
MEN: Fancy/Grass (Combined), Traditional/Southern Straight (Combined)
WOMEN: Fancy/Jingle (Combined), Traditional/Southern Buckskin/Cloth (Combined)

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

Moccasin Games

1st: $3,000
2nd: $2,500
3rd: $2,000
4th: $1,500
5th: $1,000
6th: $500

Drum Contests

Young Bear, ND
Dakotah Hotain, MB

Battle River, MN
Krazy Creek, AB
Meskwaki Nation, IA
Mountain Sioux, AB
Poundmaker, SK
ShowTime, SD
Young Kingbird, MN
Buc Wild, AZ
Southern Style, UT
Youngbird, OK

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