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Representatives of more than 560 Native American tribes from around the United States and more than 200 indigenous tribes from Canada will be heading to Albuquerque later this month when the Gathering of Nations Powwow returns after a two-year in-person pandemic hiatus.
“There’s nothing like getting back,” said Gathering of Nations founder and director Derek Mathews. The event, billed as the largest gathering in the world of Native Americans and Indigenous people, has conducted a virtual powwow the past two years.
This year’s gathering will begin with the Miss Indian World pageant April 28 at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The powwow will be held on April 29 and 30 in Tingley Coliseum and on the grounds of Expo New Mexico, where there will be dancing, drumming and singing competitions, live music, and a host of food and merchandise vendors.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at gatheringofnations.com/event-tickets. The cost is $15 for the Miss Indian World pageant; $20 for a single-day powwow ticket; and $45 for a two-day wristband.
New this year is on-site fairground RV camping, Mathews said. There are about 100 spaces with full hookups, each available for $210 for the three days, and another 50 spaces without hookups that can be reserved for $165 for the three days. Single-day camping spots are not available.
“Our Traders Market is just a few spaces short of being sold out,” he said. “That’s almost 400 vendors, so that’s a good sign, and we’re hearing that a lot of our hotels are filling up for those dates, and that’s another good sign. So, we’re expecting a full crowd.”
In 2019, the Gathering of Nations drew more than 80,000 visitors and had an economic impact of more than $24 million, said Mathews.
“There’s just a lot of anticipation and excitement building up,” he said. “We can’t keep up with the phone calls, and we’re getting a lot of questions and comments on our Facebook page and other social media. We’re feeling really positive about it.”