The three-day event will include more than 3,000 traditional Native American singers and dancers competing in 32 dance categories, and more than 800 Native American artisans, craftsmen and traders displaying and selling their work. In addition, 36 indigenous bands will be performing a wide variety of musical genres. Vendors in the Native Food Court will offer guests a large selection of food choices ranging between southwestern-style cuisine and traditional Native American fare.
As part of the Gathering of Nations, a young Native American woman will be crowned Miss Indian World and represent all native and indigenous people as a cultural goodwill ambassador. As one of the largest and most prestigious cultural pageants, 28 Native American and indigenous women representing their different tribes and traditions will compete in the areas of tribal knowledge, dancing ability, and personality assessment.
The Gathering of Nations opens with the Miss Indian World competition on April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel –Albuquerque. The much anticipated "Grand Entry," where thousands of Native American dancers simultaneously enter the arena dressed in colorful outfits to the sounds of hundreds of beating drums, begins at noon on Friday, April 27. The Grand Entry will be repeated Friday evening at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, at 12 p.m. (noon) and 6 p.m.
The new Miss Indian World will be crowned on Saturday evening, after the Grand Entry. The Gathering of Nations will be held at the University of New Mexico's University Arena in Albuquerque.