New Mexico

Prominent powwow set to begin in wake of pipeline protests

  • FILE--In this April 29, 2016, file photo, nearly 3,000 indigenous dancers from across the United States and other countries participate in the first grand entry of the 33rd annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, N.M. The Gathering of Nations is set to begin Thursday, April 27, 2017, at Expo New Mexico after the organization parted ways in a public spat with its longtime host at the University of New Mexico's basketball arena. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, file)

    FILE--In this April 29, 2016, file photo, nearly 3,000 indigenous dancers from across the United States and other countries participate in the first grand entry of the 33rd annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, N.M. The Gathering of Nations is set to begin Thursday, April 27, 2017, at Expo New Mexico after the organization parted ways in a public spat with its longtime host at the University of New Mexico's basketball arena. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE--In this April 29, 2016, file photo, the four head dancers selected to lead the 33rd annual Gathering of Nations are recognized following the event's grand entry in Albuquerque, N.M. The Gathering of Nations is set to begin Thursday, April 27, 2017, at Expo New Mexico after the organization parted ways in a public spat with its longtime host at the University of New Mexico's basketball arena. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, file)

    FILE--In this April 29, 2016, file photo, the four head dancers selected to lead the 33rd annual Gathering of Nations are recognized following the event's grand entry in Albuquerque, N.M. The Gathering of Nations is set to begin Thursday, April 27, 2017, at Expo New Mexico after the organization parted ways in a public spat with its longtime host at the University of New Mexico's basketball arena. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, file)  (The Associated Press)

One of North America's most prominent powwows is set to begin in New Mexico.

The Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque comes in the wake of pipeline protests in North Dakota that became a historic display of Native American solidarity.

Last year's powwow attracted about 3,000 dancers from hundreds of tribes in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It routinely draws at least 80,000 visitors.

The event, which opens Thursday, is intended to be nonpolitical, but Larry Yazzie, its official announcer, said people will be reminded why they are coming together, and that the "water protectors" — those who joined the pipeline protests — will be acknowledged.

The Gathering of Nations will be held at Expo New Mexico after the organization parted ways in a public spat with its longtime host — the University of New Mexico and its basketball arena.