News: Central plans to host powwow on campus

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BY EVAN PAPAS, Assistant News Editor

 

Central has been approved for a $6,750 grant from the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to support a Central hosted Powwow.

Michelle Cyrus, Diversity Officer at the Center for Diversity and Social Justice, said that while the plans are still in preliminary stages, they are working to create an event for all students to be able to get a feel for some Native American cultures.

“It’s for all students to attend and experience the culture,” Cyrus said.

The Powwow is tentatively scheduled for May 15 on the East Science Lawn. Some of the events being planned include musical and narrative performances.

“It will feature drummers, dancers, storytellers, arts and crafts, a friendship feast, and Native American vendors,” Cyrus said.

Apart from Cyrus, the planning committee consists of Michael Ogden, professor and director of film and video studies, and Toni Culjak, director of the American Indian Studies program.

The planning committee is still working to solidify vendors and is meeting with different people from the west and east side.

“We have made contacts with some folks at the Yakama nation; they have always been hospitible towards the university,” Ogden said.

The planning commitee are also working on a name for the powwow. Currently its being called a demonstation powwow and friendship gathering.

Ogden said it is very important for students to understand Central is on Yakama ceded land.

“[We are] thinking of a name to brand it and turn it into an annual event,” Cyrus said. “We are doing what we can to make it successful.”

Ogden said the committee is working on finding a name in the Sahaptin language that would fit the event.

“Acknowledge that this is Indian country and share in the rich cultural history,” Ogden said.

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