DENVER (CBS4)– More than 1,000 dancers from over 100 different Native American tribes come to the Denver Coliseum at this time every year to bring a lesson in diversity.

(credit: CBS)

The Denver March Pow-Wow is one of the largest American Indian festivals in the country. It started on Friday and continues through Sunday.

“The basis of our pow-wow here in Denver is to educate the non-native community and to provide an event for our local native children to instill pride in themselves and identify with who they are,” said Grace Gillette, the event’s executive director.

PHOTO GALLERY: Denver March Pow-Wow

The celebration features more than 30 different drum groups from across the nation.

(credit: CBS)

As they play, men and women perform various dances, like Rod Atcheynum, who was doing the prairie chicken dance while a CBS4 was at the Coliseum on Friday. Atcheynum’s dance dates back to the 1800s when his tribe was suffering from starvation.

(credit: CBS)

“So the objective of the dance that I perform is try to mimic the movements of the prairie chicken as much as I can to honor him and be proud that he saved us from starvation,” he said.

It’s just one of many dances that tell an important story handed down through generations.

Organizers hope the pow-wow empowers and educates children and all vistors alike.

Additional Resources:

Get more information about the celebration at denvermarchpowwow.org.

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