California State University, Northridge’s American Indian Studies program will celebrate American Indian Heritage Month with its 29th Annual Powwow.
Hosted by Associated Students, the American Indian Student Association and the First Nations Alumni Association, the powwow will be held on Saturday, Nov. 24, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the Chicano House lawn, located on the east side of campus near Plummer Street. The event is free and open to the public. Parking in campus lots is $6.
“The event is important to CSUN because it maintains the school’s visibility as a cultural center for the San Fernando Valley and for the American Indian community in the San Fernando Valley,” said Scott Andrews, an American Indian studies faculty member and powwow coordinator. “It can also be helpful in recruiting and retaining American Indian students at CSUN.”
The event will include traditional American Indian dance, music and crafts. There will be an area for children’s crafts and activities. There will also be traditional food like frybread. Contests with prizes will be held throughout the day.
Gatherings at powwows throughout the year are one way members of the American Indian community keep in touch. There are about 200,000 American Indians in Los Angeles County, according to Andrews. CSUN is one of the few powwow hosts in the San Fernando Valley.
The first powwow was held at CSUN in 1976, at the height of the American Indian civil rights movement. The students’ desire to celebrate and make their culture more visible to the public was revived in the new millennium.
“One goal for a powwow such as ours is to educate those who attend about the rich histories and cultures of American Indians,” said Andrews. “Events such as the CSUN powwow can dispel some misconceptions and show people that the American Indian community is alive and well in Los Angeles.”
Powwow participants come from a variety of tribal backgrounds, offering insight to the different traditions and the cultural similarities. Spectators are also welcome to participate in some dancing activities.
For more information, contact the American Indian Student Association at (818) 677-5030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.