Farmington — The sights and sounds of powwow will fill the Eagle's Nest gymnasium Saturday at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington.

This is the fourth year the college preparatory school is hosting the benefit contest powwow, which continues to grow each year both in attendance and in participation from dancers and drum groups, said Sandra Westbrook, the school's director of admissions and public relations.

The powwow starts at 10 a.m. with gourd dancing, followed by a grand entry at 1 p.m.

It continues with a second round of gourd dancing at 5 p.m. and final grand entry at 7 p.m.

There will be eight drum groups this year, with Lickity Split as the host southern drum and Twin Eagle as the host northern drum.

Gallup resident Mike Salabiye is the master of ceremonies, Bruce Leclaire of Durango, Colo., is the arena director and Duane Harris of Albuquerque is the head gourd dancer.

Cash prizes will be awarded in the tiny tots, junior boys, junior girls, teen boys, teen girls, adult men, adult women and golden age categories.

Navajo Prep has hosted powwows on and off throughout the years but nothing consistently until recent years, Westbrook said.

Proceeds from the powwow go toward student scholarships and to assist students in paying for expenses like meals, dormitories, books and athletics.

"We saw a need among our students," Westbrook said, adding that students volunteer to help operate the powwow.

Members of the football team will work the concession stand to raise money to help with travel expenses for next season.

Other students will help collect admission fees and move the microphone in between drum groups, which will be set up on the gymnasium floor.

"We couldn't pull it off without the students' help," Westbook said.

Some students also dance, including the school's Miss Hozho Naasha Jolene Fernandez, who will host a jingle dress special during the teen category as her powwow initiation.

There will also be a gift basket raffle and the opportunity to purchase Native American arts and crafts from vendors.

"It's just a fun time," Westbrook said.


What: Navajo Preparatory School’s Fourth Annual Benefit Contest Powwow

When: Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.

Where: Navajo Preparatory School’s Eagle’s Nest Gymnasium, 1220 W. Apache St., Farmington

Cost: $5 per person

More info: Sandra Westbrook, 505-320-0685,

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and Follow him on Twitter @nsmithdt on Twitter.