The last American Indian Inaugural Ball took place on January 20, 2013. Photo: Anne Arnold for Indianz.Com
Indian Country is finding plenty of ways to celebrate as the nation transitions to new leadership. The American Indian Society of Washington, D.C., is once again preparing to welcome hundreds of tribal leaders and tribal citizens to the nation's capital next week. A slew of events, from a popular ball to a powwow, take place over four days while Republican Donald Trump assumes office as the 45th president of the United States. "The event provides opportunities for indigenous nations within the United States to celebrate their diverse and rich cultures, discuss issues impacting Indian county, host meetings on sovereign relationships and presidential transition for each new administration," the American Indian Society said. The festivities kick off at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City with a welcome reception on the evening of Thursday, January 19. The event follows a transition meeting hosted earlier in the day by the National Congress of American Indians. The main event, of course, is the dinner and ball at the Hyatt on Friday, January 20, the day of the inauguration. The very first American Indian Inaugural Ball was held in 1969, back when the late Richard Nixon was being sworn in as president. "Over the course of 50 years, the American Indian Inaugural Ball has expanded from a one night event into a four day celebration and remains a truly unique gathering place," the society said. Festivities continue on Saturday with a powwow and art market. A farewell brunch on Sunday wraps up the celebration. The AIS gala isn't the only chance for Indian Country to mark the start of the new administration either. The National Museum of the American Indian is hosting its second Native Nations Inaugural Ball, also on January 20, to raise funds for the National Native American Veterans Memorial. While AIS and NMAI take place at the same time, forcing some to choose between the events, there's an opportunity to enjoy both. Late-night revelers can head to the Hyatt for a "Rock Your Mocs" after-party from 12am-2am.