SPANISH FORK Nebo School District's Indian education program is planning a powwow on Saturday.
The 10th annual Scholarship Contest Powwow follows the ninth annual American Indian Youth Conference at Spanish Fork High School, 99 N. 300 West, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Keynote speaker is Olympic gold medalist and Lakota Sioux Billy Mills.
Mills, an unknown at the time of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, was the first American to win the gold in the 10,000-mete race. It was considered an upset. He had finished second in the Olympic trials.
In 1976 he was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame and in 1984 the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. He is also in the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, the Kansas Hall of Fame, the South Dakota Hall of Fame, the San Diego Hall of Fame and the National High School Hall of Fame.
Mills is the subject of the 1984 film "Running Brave," starring Robby Benson.
His interests now are in supporting American young people.
The conference theme is "Discover Your Personal Power: A Sacred Journey."
A statewide event, the first powwow begins at 2 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m. The second session begins at 6 p.m. Admission is $2.
While tribes from across the state are expected, the public is also invited.
"We usually give out between one and three scholarships a year to graduating seniors going on to college," director Eileen Quintana said. The scholarships are about $500 each.
Native dancers in full regalia are broken up into several age-related categories and divided between males and females. Dancers must know their native styles and rhythms as they dance to Indian drum beats, Quintana said.
Dancers can win cash prizes from $50 to $100 or other noncash prizes, she said.
The first powwow attracted some 800 people, but those numbers have dropped to about half in recent years, she said. This year she hopes people from throughout Utah will attend."This is a community event," she said.
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