A nonprofit organization committed to promoting the positive aspects of Native American culture, the Gathering of Nations hosts one of the country’s largest powwows. For nearly three decades, the Gathering of Nations has welcomed all singers and dancers, regardless of their tribal affiliations or geographical location, to participate in the three-day event. The Gathering of Nations routinely draws in excess of 3,000 Native American performers from more than 500 tribes located across the United States and Canada. The event’s organizers, the Mathews family, work diligently to ensure each year’s powwow remains as competitively fair and accurately judged as possible.
The Gathering of Nations also holds a pageant to crown Miss Indian World. Native or indigenous women between the ages of 18 to 25 compete to acquire points in a variety of categories that test their knowledge about tribes and traditions and give them the opportunity to demonstrate their dancing and public speaking skills. The contestant that accumulates the most points at the end of the five-day competition wins the crown for one year.
Individuals who attend the Gathering of Nations can visit the Indian Traders Market, where they can peruse merchandise from the event’s 800 Native American artists and traders. The event’s Stage 49 hosts musical acts that includes such genres of music as rock, blues, reggae, country, and hip hop. Stage 49 provides up-and-coming Native American musical acts an opportunity to gain valuable exposure that could help them launch their careers. The Gathering of Nations is held annually on the fourth weekend in April at the University of New Mexico’s arena, nicknamed The Pit, in Albuquerque.