WMU News

Native American Pow Wow returns to University Arena

March 26, 2004

KALAMAZOO--The cultural heritage and diversity of American Indians will be celebrated during the annual Native American Pow Wow at Western Michigan University from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 3, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 4, in University Arena.

Now in its 15th year, the spring traditional pow wow brings more than 4,500 visitors to WMU's campus during the weekend. The large, public event features drumming, dancing, singing, food, artwork and crafts as well as spectacular Native American regalia and dance competitions.

The 2004 pow wow, "Great Lakes Reunion," is an "open drum" with a variety of drum groups participating. It is being sponsored by WMU's Native American Student Organization, Division of Multicultural Affairs, Office of Admissions and Orientation, and Office of the President.

Bad Axe will serve as the "host drum," opening all grand entries and 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 dance competitions. Contests will include performances of "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.

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

Admission is $5 for adults, $2.50 for senior citizens and children ages 5 to 12. Admission is free for children under age 5 and WMU students with valid student identification. Price packages are available for families. Lot parking is available around University Arena for $3 per vehicle.

For more information about the pow wow or how to become a sponsor or volunteer, contact Michael J. Robertson, NASO co-chairperson, by phone at (269) 387-2279.

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