Cliff Matias
Billed as “North America’s Biggest Powwow” for more than 30 years, the annual Gathering of Nations (GON), held on the last weekend of April, has to find a new home.

Racist Comments Flood in After UNM Drops Gathering of Nations

Brian Daffron

Billed as “North America’s Biggest Powwow” for more than 30 years, the annual Gathering of Nations (GON), held on the last weekend of April, has to find a new home. The home for GON—until recently—has been WisePies Arena, better known as “The Pit,” the home court of the University of New Mexico Lobos basketball team.

According to UNM executive vice-president David Harris, the reasons for ending the agreement were “financial and operational… The University is facing tough budgetary constraints, hosting the Pow Wow had become prohibitively costly to our athletic department, as well as risk services, police and security, and other university operations.”

Shortly after Albuquerque television news KRQE-TV reported that the University of New Mexico had decided to end their hosting of the Pow Wow,  the comment section of the KRQE website was flooded with racially-charged and stereotypical remarks. The comments are going viral in Indian Country.

The comments on the KRQE-TV are as follows:

  • Mary Berry—Where are those people going to gather now, to drink their mouthwash !?!?!?

  • Scott raines [sic]—Drunks gathering together for a powwow shouldn’t be a tradition go to the bird of paradise [Liquors store] 20 minutes before they open and you’ll see the same thing

  • Adam_Saline—Good they can go back to their sovereign nations and have their party.

  • achoo, blessyou—Not to mention that the people that fill the Pit for this event are giant slobs who destroy everything that crosses their path. Seriously, what a disaster.

  • MichaelJohnson—I think the Washington Redskins should play a game in the Pit…

  • Slick—If I read between the lines and filter out the diplomacy in their official statement, it looks like they are just tired of unruly drunk savages mucking up the arena. They’re tired of cleaning up beer cans and used diaper leathers strewn about the parking lot.

One of the comments is directed toward The Red Nation, a New Mexico-based Native rights group leading protests against the University of New Mexico’s seal, which depicts a Spanish conquistador

See Related: The Univ. of New Mexico Seal Is Irrevelent to Reality

  • Cowboy63—RedNation is demanding a change for the UNM Seal! RedNation claims admin is out of line and wants tuition waivers too! Well, here you go, stick this in your peace pipe and smoke it you pie faced wagon burners!!! YOU ARE GONE…NEXT…LMAO…

Indian Country Today Media Network contacted KRQE-TV regarding the comments which are receiving considerable attention in Indian Country.

One administrator, who did not wish to be identified, informed ICTMN about the website’s commenting policies.

“Everyone’s allowed to comment on our site,” she said. “We don’t allow anonymous commenters. They have to have a screen name or email. If other users deem a comment as inappropriate, they can flag it for moderation. Once it’s in moderation, then we step in from there.”

At press time, talks are in the works between GON event organizers and City of Albuquerque officials to find a new home for the powwow.


Brian Daffron can be found on Twitter @briandaffron


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Juliet's picture
Submitted by Juliet on
Translation of the racist rubbish: 'I don't know anything about Native Americans except stereotypes and what my parents taught me; I'm also a sad sample of white America, so I have to spout my BS at every opportunity to make myself feel better.' And these are the people who make the rest of us whites look bad.

bearclawws's picture
Submitted by bearclawws on
If you spew hatred for other races what makes you any better? If one hates his brother, whom are all children of the Creator, they shame the Father.

WinterWindTeacher's picture
Submitted by WinterWindTeacher on
I have grown exhausted of their abuses, their impudent arrogance and disdain, their lawlessness and deceit. I can not tolerate their vicious haughty. I am tired of their privileges and mockery of humanity. I am grateful that I am their enemy they are filthy. I am sorry and saddened for the merciless suffering they have exacted here in North America and throughout America. I am grateful for being admitted to an Asians study course of Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian people. I wanted to be with these people who had suffered merciless war, massive death and invasions. People who were so traumatized by endless bombing. I am grateful for acceptance to the gathering of Native Americans Navajo, Aleut, and Lakota who were all so beautiful to me. I started to do bead work, we ate wonderful meals and sat and discussed all manner of subjects. I appreciate how open and accepting people were with me. I appreciate the generosity and especially the feeling of warmth people gave, it felt good. It was short time to be together, beautiful people. I felt so awesome and proud walking with my friend Jack an attractive young Navajo man as we strolled around the community. I hope all the people are doing well, such a beautiful people. I survived in this beautiful heaven with people who don't belong there. I have met some of the beautiful Native people whose beautiful home North America is. I did eventually get to be born so I could feel human being alive in me, it felt so good. I got to love and to be loved. Loved opened a way for me to enter in some dimension of love that I was aware of passing through a membrane tissue opening like a slit. I began to heal with love and seeds in soil like a sandy desert lay fallow and then one day I noticed the seeds were sprouting inside me. There were beautiful plant and flowers and humor was being expressed and philosophy and wisdom ideas. I was alive inside and it felt good. I felt free to be me without violence, I finally had safety and well being. I thought it would last forever, it was a dream. It felt so good and so right like this is the way human being feels and lives. My friend moved away and I broke down. I had hoped we would be close and love each. No one knows but it was all the darkness of the world pulled down and I could be free. I lost my mind when my friend left. Somehow eventually life went on. In 1988 the torture began the suffering was unbearable, almost giving me a heart attack one night. No one would help make it stop. An ambulance took me to the hospital where two beautiful nurses held me like mother as I sobbed uncontrollably. I could not live in my own skin nor the rental I rented nor the beautiful garden I grew, their evil was such greed they had to take everything from me. They took my employment, my career, my college training courses in the medical field, my friends, my lover, my car, my life, their greed never could have enough. I just could not think that evil would coming looking for me. I hope to my best ability that I have given witness to these vicious crimes against humanity. I pray the day come when these vicious monsters are rounded up and deported back to Europe. Europe has the responsibility legally to collect the Europeans they dumped off here so long ago and collect them now. Their criminality was unbearable, it is not American. Their violence was inhuman, anti Christian, the smoke in the air was so many jokes lies they told everyone so they could suffocate me. A liar, murderer and a thief, evil is what they have done to me for the past 28 years and for the first 17, 45 years total they have stolen everything from me, because they could. There was no reality of liberty, no justice, no truth, no emancipation proclamation.I can not want for anything less than . prosecution. Though the world do nothing, I hope on my remaining breaths I still want them to be charged for crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, defamation of character and violations egregious against my International Human Rights