American Indian Heritage days’ events feature Little Shell ceremony, Last Chance Pow Wow

September offers a host of events to celebrate American Indian heritage –- leading off with a Little Shell ceremony honoring a Sun Dance held in Helena a century ago and closing out with the Last Chance Community Pow Wow.

Due to a quirky September calendar this year with five Fridays, Montanans actually get to celebrate two American Indian Heritage days this month, Sept. 22 and Sept. 29, explains Mike Jetty, Indian Education specialist with Montana’s Office of Public Instruction.

A 1997 state statute designated the fourth Friday of the month as American Indian Heritage Day, while a 2009 statute designated it as the last Friday of the month.

Prior to these official celebrations, the Little Shell Tribe will hold a public ceremony at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, at the little park known as the Lazy Green across from Helena Middle School. They are dedicating a new plaque commemorating the 1908 Nepaquashimowin, or Thirsty Sun Dance, said Little Shell tribal member Dan Pocha.

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What, when, where: Little Shell ceremony 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, at Lazy Green park, across from Helena Middle School

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