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Pow-Wow returns to University Arena

March 27, 2006

KALAMAZOO--The cultural heritage and diversity of American Indians will be celebrated during the 16th Native American Pow-Wow at Western Michigan University from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 1, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 2, in University Arena.

This large, public event is a traditional pow-wow featuring drumming, dancing, singing, food, artwork and crafts as well as spectacular Native American regalia and dances. During the weekend, it brings some 4,500 visitors to WMU's campus from across West Michigan and neighboring states.

The theme for this year's pow-wow, "Bringing Back the Pow-Wow: Celebrating With Friends, Family, and Community," recognizes that last year's event was cancelled after another Michigan pow-wow was scheduled on the same date WMU already had scheduled.

It will be an "open drum" with a variety of drum groups participating. Southern Extreme will serve as the "host drum," opening all grand entries as well as concluding the pow-wow ceremony.

The grand entries, which involve dancers, singers, drummers and flag bearers in traditional dress, are the only time all dancers are on the floor together. They will be held at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Dancers also can be seen throughout the weekend performing in inter-tribal dances and categorical dances. Performances will include "jingle dance," "grass dance" and children's dances as well as men's and women's traditional and fancy dances.

Native American jewelry, arts and crafts from a variety of vendors, and pow-wow memorabilia will be available for purchase. In addition, food vendors will be selling such traditional treats as fry bread, Indian tacos and buffalo burgers.

The 2006 pow-pow is being sponsored by WMU's Native American Student Organization, Division of Multicultural Affairs, Office of Admissions and Orientation, and Office of the President.

NASO counts on several sponsors, 150 volunteers and a modest admission fee to offset event costs. These costs include providing meals for volunteers throughout the weekend, a dinner on Saturday and a thank-you event on Sunday for the 450 participating singers, dancers and traders.

Admission to the pow-wow is free for those under 5 years old and for WMU students with a valid student ID. The price is $5 for those ages 13 to 64 and $2.50 for those ages 6 to 12 and 65 and above. Price packages are available for families. Free lot parking will be available around University Arena.

For more information about the pow-wow or how to become a sponsor or volunteer, contact Adriana Rosas, NASO chair, at (269) 321-0760.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400