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Pow Wow marks start of national heritage month

By Derrick Naylor and Kate Thacker

Bells jingled around the ankles of dancers in Native American regalia.
They waited for the grand entry song to start at the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center’s Traditional Pow Wow on Saturday.

Traditional Native American attire, clothing and food were part of the event at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, which was also the kick-off event for National American Indian Heritage Month at IU.

The University has not hosted the pow wow since 2004.

“We started planning last fall to return the pow wow to IUB,” FNECC Director Brian Gilley said. “Pow wow

organizers are trying to revitalize an important campus tradition.”

The day-long event featured historical storytelling, a traditional meal for attendees and a drum performance by Omaha, Neb., group The Southern Bad Boys.

Arts and crafts from a number of Native Americans were sold during the event as well.
The booths were an attraction for many IU students who attended the event, including junior Courtney Williams.

“My favorite part was looking at all of the different jewelry and the traditional clothing they had displayed,” Williams said. “It was unique and different, something you don’t get to see every day.”

A key part of the event was the grand entry ceremony in which Native American tribes made ceremonial entrances.

A drum group of IU students participated as singers along with the Bad Boys.

The drum groups and dancers performed a flag song, memorial song and veteran’s song, as well as Intertribals, in which members of all tribes participate.

The pow wow was sponsored by the Native American Graduate Students Association, the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center, the IU Office of Multicultural Initiatives and the IU Student Association.

Gilley said support from the University and the Office of Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs helped make the event possible.

“All the hard work of the students seems to have paid off,” Gilley said. “It was a great turnout.”

More Events

What: Living Traditions: A Selection of Native American Art from the Art Museum and Contemporary Native Artists
When: 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: IU Art Museum

What: Native American Beading Workshop
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Mather’s Museum of World Cultures

What: Free Movie and Popcorn Night: “Barking Water” with Sterling Harjo
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 15
Where: Bridgewaters Lounge, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

What: Cherokee Basket Weaving Workshop
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 19
Where: Bridgewaters Lounge, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

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