Hugs was one of over 125 kids who participated in this year's Crow Fair Youth Powwow. The first day of Crow Fair closed out Wednesday with the event, the first time the fair has had a noncompetitive event that included youth dancers.

 Crow Fair Spokesperson Noel Two Leggins said the event was created as a chance to put the Crow youth front and center.

"In the past during Crow Fair we didn't acknowledge our children," Two Leggins said. "But they are the next generation. They are going to be the ones to enrich our culture in the future."

Crow Fair, called the "Teepee Capital of the World," and held in Crow Agency, is one of the largest Native American events in North America. Different entertainment is dispersed throughout the four-day event, including powwows, rodeo and horse racing. Food vendors circle the Apsaalooke Arbor where the powwow dancing was held. Teepees where families camp together also circle the dancing area.

Adult powwow events are competitive. The Youth powwow was meant to only encourage Crow children to participate in the culture. Those kids wearing traditional garb were able to sign up for a free backpack filled with school supplies. The supplies inside included tablets, rulers, and pencil boxes; things meant to give kids a little extra before the start of school. The backpacks and school supplies were donated by both Conoco-Phillips 66 and the Elk River Law Firm.

"Poverty is so prevalent in Native America," Two Leggins said. The backpacks are meant to also give parents an incentive to get their kids involved in the traditions of Crow Fair.

Crow Fair parade Diana Volk Photography

"Mothers Pride" Crow Fair parade Diana Volk Photography

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