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Sunday, Dec. 10
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion letters

Celebrate Native American culture with OVPDEMA

Performers stand during the First Nations Traditional Powwow on April 9, 2017, in Dunn Meadow. 

As the calendar approaches the conclusion of the academic year, one of IU Bloomington’s most cherished campus traditions is also on the horizon. 

The IU seventh annual Traditional Powwow will be held Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Dunn Meadow. Attendees will have an opportunity to experience aspects of traditional and contemporary Native American cultures through an event that brings together the IU, local and Native American communities.

The powwow, which is organized by IU Bloomington’s First Nations Educational and Cultural Center, an Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) program, will feature two dance sessions, from 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. 

After the grand entry for each session — when tribal color guards bearing flags and eagle staffs of some of the tribes that are present, dignitaries, tribal royalty and dance participants enter the arena — there will be dance sessions and intertribal dancing. 

Some of the other highlights of the powwow include:

From 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., a raptor show will be conducted by the Indiana Raptor Center.  During this program, background on the birds, their uses and meanings in contemporary Native American culture will be explained.

From 5 to 7 p.m.,  there will be dance exhibitions by visiting powwow participants and Paso a Paso, an IU Latino student dance organizations.

There will be food, informational, and arts and crafts vendors. This includes educational activities in the activities tent, an Indian taco stand, and a representative from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources who will discuss Native American people being represented in state parks.

A pre-powwow lecture by Oglala Lakota College’s Dr. Richie Meyers — a member of IU’s First Nations Leadership Ambassador Council and the Oglala Sioux’s representative for IU’s Office of Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act — titled, “Performing Native Identity: Indians in Social Media,” from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, April 6, in the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology.

As you can see, there are plenty of incredible activities happening at the powwow — at no cost to the IU community or general public — that will make spending part of your day at Dunn Meadow an enjoyable and educational experience.

I invite you to learn more about the IU seventh annual Traditional Powwow by visiting OVPDEMA’s website,, for more information.

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