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Pres. Armacost: This weekend, help UND celebrate region’s spirit, culture

President invites one and all to UND’s Time Out Wacipi Friday and Saturday, April 8-9

UND archival image.

April 8-9 marks a significant event in the institutional history of the University of North Dakota. This weekend, the university will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Time Out Wacipi, the annual pow wow on UND’s campus featuring traditional American Indian singing and dancing, demonstrations, art, music and much more. It is a celebration of life and culture that enables people of all ages to gather and to connect. This occasion also celebrates our indigenous graduates and their accomplishments.

I invite residents of the Red River Valley region – including our Minnesota neighbors – to observe and participate in this very special event. Last year, because of the COVID pandemic, we were unable to host Wacipi in person and, instead, offered a virtual event that commemorated the impact of this celebration over decades. This year, we want to make the event’s 50th anniversary as special and as memorable as we can.

Back in around 1972, a group of perhaps a dozen UND American Indian students organized to create Time Out Wacipi as a way of bringing people together from all around the region. Wacipi – the Dakota/Lakota word for pow wow – began as a celebration of life, a gathering of family and friends that embraces their culture and spirituality. The passage of time and unfolding of events has made it so much more. Wacipi is preeminent among UND’s proud traditions, as well as one of the most significant cultural events on campus.

Because UND rests on the ancestral lands of Indigenous people, it’s important for us to honor their spirit and culture. It’s one of the ways in which we continue to build relationships with the first nations of North Dakota: the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Since becoming UND’s president in 2020, this will be the first Wacipi my wife Kathy and I will experience in person. I hope you will join us at 7 p.m. Friday, April 8, and 1 p.m. Saturday, April 9, for the pageantry and magnificence of the grand entry where the spiritual leader, military veterans, special guests and an honor guard lead the dancers dressed in their traditional colorful regalia into the arena at the Hyslop Center.

Men and women will dance to traditional drumming and singing in a variety of categories. A traditional community meal sponsored by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation will take place at 5 p.m., on Saturday, April 9.

Kathy and I are very excited at the prospect of participating in our very first Wacipi and to connect with the other attendees. We’re especially honored to be part of the event’s 50th anniversary celebration. Please join us on the UND campus to be part of Time Out Wacipi, an event woven into the culture and heritage of North Dakota.