Gathering of Nations, Ltd., is a non-profit organization devoted to the celebration and preservation of Native American culture. Its primary event is an annual powwow of the same name. The Gathering of Nations Powwow, billed as the largest in North America, has taken place annually at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque since 1983. Co-founder and director Derek Mathews created the Gathering of Nations event in response to unfair judging at a previous year's powwow.
The Gathering of Nations Powwow includes the selection of Miss Indian World. This honor is open to young, single women from any tribe in North America. A point system determines the winner, who must excel in public speaking, tribal dance, and a talent presentation. Gathering of Nations also judges contestants on their knowledge of tribal traditions.
Native American culture also plays a major role on Stage 49, Gathering of Nations' venue for musical acts. This event takes an inclusive tone with performers from such diverse genres as rock, blues, reggae, and hip-hop by contemporary and traditional artists. Stage 49 spans two days of the Gathering of Nations Powwow, showcasing both new and established talent. The Gathering of Nations website includes many videos from Stage 49 performances and a portal to a free Internet radio station featuring Native American recording artists.
Proceeds from the Gathering of Nations Powwow go to a scholarship fund for Native American women at UNM. Gathering of Nations also gives one-time donations to many individuals and causes related to Native Americans, such as computers for disabled students and youth sports camps. Gathering of Nations is a member of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce , the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. Dates for the next powwow are April 26-28, 2012, at UNM.