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The SDSU Powwow honors and celebrates the cultures and traditions of native nations and indigenous communities. The SDSU Powwow honors and celebrates the cultures and traditions of native nations and indigenous communities.
 


Sacred, Social Powwow to be Held at SDSU

The SDSU Powwow, now in its 46th year, will be held on Saturday, April 7.
By La Monica Everett-Haynes
 

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the 46th annual San Diego State University Powwow, an annual sacred and social meeting held to honor and celebrate the cultures and traditions of native nations and indigenous communities.

The event is scheduled from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at the ENS Field and is free and open to the public. Activities will include traditional and contemporary performances, and vendors will also be on-site selling food, jewelry and other items.

“Powwows are meant to bring the community together as a social event that also respects Native American cultures and traditions,” said Shareka White, assistant director of the Office of Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs (EOP), which is hosting the event in collaboration with its Elymash Yuuchaap Indigenous Scholars and Leaders program.

Randy Edmonds (Kiowa/Caddo), who has announced for powwows for 50 years, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Victor Chavez (Diné) will serve as arena director, and Jeanette Hamilton Parker (Cahuilla) will serve as the head woman.

In addition to the San Diego region, attendees and performers will represent numerous tribal nations and indigenous communities throughout the country.

“Just as there are many different native and indigenous nations, there are various cultures represented,” said Chris Medellin, an EOP outreach and recruitment specialist who oversees SDSU’s Elymash Yuuchaap Indigenous Scholars and Leaders program.

The SDSU Powwow will include:
  • Bird singing beginning at 10 a.m. to be presented by Kumeyaay Asha Takook Bird. Kumeyaay Bird Songs have been passed down through generations and are used in times of celebration or grief to sing, dance and share culture in the company of friends.
  • The Gourd Dance, which will begin at 11 a.m. with Ivan Sam (Diné) as head gourd dancer. The Gourd Dance is a Kiowa Tribe ceremonial dance that honors warriors or veterans.
  • The Grand Entry, the official start of the powwow, during which all dancers enter the arena. The grand entry will begin at noon, and will include a blessing by distinguished actor Saginaw Grant (Sac and Fox).
  • Each head man, head woman, young head man and young head woman hosting a special honor-dance.  
  • Giveaways, a tradition of wealth-sharing through the giving of traditional gifts.
  • Several ceremonies honoring specific tribal and indigenous community members for their leadership and advancement of customs and traditions.
Other event sponsors are the SDSU Native American Student Alliance; American Indian Studies; American Indian Alumni Chapter at SDSU; and the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming.

More information about the event is available online.