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42nd Annual Powwow at the U

University of Utah’s Inter-Tribal Student Association will host the 42nd Powwow on campus April 19, 2014. The annual event of ceremony, dance and music is free and open to the public.

April 3, 2014 – The culture and traditions of America’s native people will once again be the focus of a day-long event at the University of Utah campus – the 42nd annual Powwow, Saturday April 19, 2014, which is free and open to the public. The events will take place in the Union Ballroom.

The Powwow is organized by the U’s Inter-Tribal Student Association and begins at noon with an arena blessing followed by the ceremonial Grand Entry, an inspiring parade of participants in full tribal regalia entering the dance circle in sync with the drums. This year’s host drum will be Minnesota’s Midnite Express, a champion native drum group within many Powwow circles across Indian Country.

“The Powwow is a long and proud tradition at the U,” says Octavio Villalpando, associate vice president for equity and diversity at the U. “It is an exciting way for the U to support American Indian students and community, honor their contributions and learn to appreciate the native history and culture that underpins that of our state and region.”

Powwows are a time-honored tradition of celebration, an opportunity for tribal members from throughout the Inter-mountain West and others to meet together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, connecting with old friends and making new ones. The Powwow is free and open to the public, and the organizers encourage the entire U community to attend and experience the beauty and meaning of the engagement.

Attending a Powwow is an honor, as many of the dances are expressions of American Indian tradition and spirituality, and the various forms of regalia worn often have spiritual meaning and encompass  a storied and cherished family tradition. To respect the participants and the activities, proper etiquette guidelines are available online, as well as the full schedule of events.

“We prize the Powwow as a way to renew Native American culture and preserve our rich traditions and heritage,” says Orianna Dennison, U student and president of the Inter-Tribal Student Association. “The powwow is family friendly, with dancers and singers of all ages, from tots to ‘Golden Age.’ It is a great way to experience the music and dance, learn about ceremonial traditions, and there are food concessions, jewelry and other crafts vendors.”


The American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) is part of the Office of Equity & Diversity at the U. Its mission is to provide academic support, career counseling, mentoring, and program activities for the University of Utah’s American Indian community and campus community as a whole. The AIRC provides an inclusive, supportive, and nurturing environment to assist American Indian students in their journey towards academic, professional, and personal success. In addition, the AIRC aims to provide academic and cultural programs that promote American Indian sovereignty, self-determination, history, arts, ontology, and epistemology.