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4PM – Gates open

5PM – Pretty Shield Foundation teepee demonstration

7PM – Welcome to Indian Country

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Spend an evening in celebration of Native culture through music and storytelling. 

Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate, and a diverse, world-class five-piece contemporary Indigenous music ensemble collaborate for lyrical storytelling told through song and spoken word. Together they weave new compositions and songs with witty, wise and poignant poetry and satire to honor the elders and ancestors.

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During the event, The Pretty Shield Foundation will erect teepees in the traditional Apsáalooke (Crow) style and host a Lighting of the Teepees event on the grounds of 406 Events Lawn.

The program will be presented in two parts: the grounds will open to the public in the afternoon leading up to the evening performance. The Pretty Shield Foundation will have several teepees already erected and lit in various colors approximately one week in advance along Fourth Avenue North, a busy road in east Billings that on average sees 12,000 cars a day (estimated by the East Billings Urban Revitalization District).


Then the day of, volunteers will erect additional teepees while providing insight and cultural programming around the purpose of each part of the teepee. The event will culminate with “Welcome to Indian Country” on the stage at the outdoor venue.


Wood Fired Pizza by Mike Cotta and Full Bar at the Event.

The Billings Symphony and The Pretty Shield Foundation are partnering with “Welcome to Indian Country,” an Indigenous music collaboration celebrating the shared Indigenous Experience through music, poetry, and storytelling, as well as erecting several teepees (lodges) on August 13, 2022 at the 406 Events Lawn in east Billings.

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Welcome to Indian Country is composed of Delbert Anderson (Diné), Music Director and trumpet player, recording and touring artist who hosts music educational workshops, composing/arranging and guest appearances. Anderson has been featured on NPR Tiny Desk Concert Top 10, Smithsonian Magazine, Yahoo/, TEDx, FNX Television and more.

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Nokosee Fields (Osage) was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, studying orchestral violin at a young age. After years of learning and performing classical music, Nokosee turned his attention to traditional American music, performing, teaching and touring professionally. As a bassist, he tours with the Country band Western Centuries, as well as the old time band Steam Machine. As a teacher, he has taught at the Augusta Heritage Center, tutored at Centrum's festival of American fiddle tunes, and was the artist in residence for the Portland old time gathering. 

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Mali Obomsawin is an Indigenous liberation activist and scholar, musician, and citizen of the Abenaki First Nation at Odanak. She is a bassist, songwriter, composer and singer, with an eclectic background in pop, free/avant-garde music and American roots styles. Obomsawin tours internationally with her indie-folk-rock band Lula Wiles and gigs as a freelance bassist in New York City where she resides. Recently, her work was published in Smithsonian Folklife Magazine and the Boston Globe. She received a BA in Government and Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College in 2018.


Adam Benham is a professional drummer, percussionist, and educator residing in Brooklyn, New York. Originally from Spokane, he holds a BA in fine arts from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. Adam has performed and recorded with notable musicians such as Dave Liebman, John Medeski, John Lockwood, Tisziji Muñoz, Don Pate, Bob Moses, Billy Hart, Jon Benitez, Frank Wess, Victor Goins, Ryan Keberle, Julia Keefe, Bernie Senensky and others. Adam is also a drummer in the United States Air Force Band of the West Coast.

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Julia Keefe (Nez Perce), Assistant Director for Welcome to Indian Country, grew up on the Nez Perce Indian reservation in Idaho and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with an MA in Music Jazz Vocals program in 2019 and from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music in 2011. She has had the honor of opening for jazz legends such as Tony Bennett and Esperanza Spalding. Her life's work is the revival and honoring of the Coeur d'Alene jazz musician, and legend Mildred Bailey and is the leader of the campaign to induct her into the Jazz Hall of Fame.


Rena Priest is a poet and an enrolled member of the Lhaq'temish (Lummi) Nation. She has been appointed to serve as Washington State's Poet Laureate for the term of April 2021-2023. She is also the recipient of the Vadon Foundation Fellowship (2020), and an Allied Arts Foundation Professional Poets Award (2020). Her debut collection Patriarchy Blues was published by MoonPath Press and received an American Book Award. Her second collection is titled Sublime Subliminal, and individual poems are featured at, Poetry Northwest, Pontoon Poetry, A Dozen Nothing, and elsewhere. Priest has also published non-fiction pieces in High Country News, YES! Magazine, Seattle Met, Adventures NW and Nautilus. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

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at the 406 Events Lawn

4PM – Gates open

5PM – Pretty Shield Foundation teepee demonstration

7PM – Welcome to Indian Country


Entrance gate located at 323 N 14th Street Venue Map  

Street parking (public domain) only.

Wood Fired Pizza by Mike Cotta and Full Bar at the Event.


406 Events Lawn Etiquette

Looking to host a private party or book your band to play at 406 Events Lawn? We’re open for business - please send us an email.


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