Tag Archives: Tony Duncan


2013 Native American Connections Parade

The 2013 Native American Connections Parade Grand Marshall is Arizona local Tony Duncan!  The 5-Time World Champion Hoop Dancer and 2013 Native American Music Awards “Artist of the Year” exemplifies this year’s parade theme: “Native American Pride: Celebration of Culture through Art, Music, and Dance.”

Tony Duncan (Apache, Arikara and Hidatsa) has performed for audiences worldwide including performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The National Museum of the American Indian, The Billboard Music Awards, The Tonight Show and The White House. Duncan has great achievements in both music and dance. As a flute player he is currently signed to the largest and oldest Native American music label, Canyon Records. He has released six albums to-date, including his latest album titled “Earth Warrior” a 2013 NAMA Record of the Year Nominee.

Duncan has toured with acclaimed Native American artists such as R. Carlos Nakai and Joanne Shenandoah, as well as Nelly Furtado. Duncan was the featured dancer on Nelly Furtado’s music video, “Big Hoops.”  Currently, he is working on his upcoming album, “Native Son,” which will be released later this summer.

The 2013 parade will be from 9 – 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 in Downtown Phoenix, starting at 3rd Street and Oak. Bring the whole family to watch and learn as the parade marches to  Steele Indian School Park. The judges and emcee station will be located at 3rd St. and Earll, where spectators can view each entry perform for two minutes.  This year’s emcees include renowned Native American journalist Patty Talahongva and nationally recognized Native American business leader Jason Coochwytewa.

Native American Connections would like to acknowledge the direct and in-kind sponsors for the 2013 parade which include: Chasse Building Team, Perlman Architects of Arizona, Architectural Resource Team Inc., Eide Bailly CPAs & Business Advisors, Lotzar Law Firm P.C., Clear Channel Media, Wells Fargo Bank, the City of Phoenix, and Pima Awards & Promotional Products.

About the 31st Annual Native American Connections Parade:
The Native American Connections Parade is a celebrated tradition and signature event of Arizona’s Native American Recognition Days which occurs every year in October.  The parade is produced by Native American Connections and features nearly 100 entries every year.  The community is invited to come and share in a rich cultural exchange through the vibrancies of Native American art, music, and dance in heart of Downtown Phoenix.  Parade entry applications are now being accepted.

About Native American Connections:
Today, Native American Connections owns and operates 15 different service sites that provide wellness and recovery services and affordable housing to more than 10,000 individuals and families annually.  Native American Connections’ mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families through culturally appropriate behavioral healthcare, affordable housing, and community development.  Today NAC serves all people who seek out its services. to learn more, click here.


23rd Annual Hoop Dance Contest Showcases Diverse Skills from Dozens of Cultures

Hundreds of spectators gathered at the Heard Museum in Phoenix to watch the 23rd Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. The contestants represented dozens of tribes from around the U.S. and Canada, bringing with them their own unique styles of costume and dance.

Preliminary rounds were held on Saturday for each of the divisions, consisting of Tiny Tots, Youth, Teen, Senior and Adult. The final rounds began Sunday morning, starting with the Youth. There were contestants from six to twelve years old competing, and an energetic six-year-old from Salt River took first place.

Hoops Dance Contest The Teens showed exceptional talent, many of them having practiced since they were very young. A young man from Winslow won the division with an enthusiastic performance.

The Senior division is for contestants 40 years of age and older, and a few names always trend at the top. This year was no change, as Brian Hammill (HoChunk) claimed first place again. Lowery Begay (Dine) took second, and both men have won many times. Tommy Draper (Dine), a previous award winner as well, took third.

The most anticipated portion of the weekend is the Adult division final round, and six prizes are given to represent the broad age category. The diverse performances were stunning for their skill and expressive passion, and many of the winners have won titles before.

First Place went to: Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw: AZ)

Second: Tony Duncan (Apache/Arikara/Hidatsa/Mandan: AZ)

Third: Kevin Dakota Duncan (San Carlos Apache: AZ)

Fourth: Dallas Arcand (Cree: Alberta)

Fifth: Charles Denny (Cree/Northern Ute: UT)

Sixth: Nakotah LaRance (Hopi/Tewa/Assinboin: NM)

Hoops Dance Contest Denny and LaRance danced in two tie-breakers, putting on an incredible show for the crowd as they out-danced each other.

Live traditional drums and singers played for the dancers, and families traveled far to cheer on their contestants.

Finally, the inaugural Heard Museum Hoop Dance Legacy Award was given to Jones Benally (Dine) to celebrate his 75-year run of hoop dancing. A traditional practitioner from Winslow, Benally has performed for Queen Elizabeth II and Oprah and has worked as a healer all his life. Now in his 90s, Benally danced like a young man and reminded the younger contestants to preserve their cultures by continuing the cherished practice of traditional hoop dancing.

To see the winners and videos from last year, visit heard.org/hoop