It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1970s at California State University, Northridge — one that was suspended for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CSUN’s 37th Annual Powwow returns on Saturday, Nov. 26, to celebrate American Indian communities of Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.
The Powwow is scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Sierra Quad, located in the center of campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.
“More than 250,000 American Indians live in Los Angeles County,” said Scott Andrews, director of the CSUN American Indian Studies Program. “That population is spread across a large geographic area, and Powwows are one way members of that community stay in touch with each other.”
The event — hosted by the College of Humanities‘ American Indian Studies Program and CSUN’s American Indian Students Association — will feature Indigenous music and dance.
The CSUN Powwow will begin at 11 a.m. with a Gourd Ceremony, a ceremonial dance, followed at 12:30 p.m. by the Grand Entry, which includes a procession of all the dancers in traditional dress and regalia, opening blessings, greetings and songs.
“Powwow music and dance styles mostly reflect the cultural traditions of Southern and Northern Plains tribes, but they have evolved to include Native traditions from their local areas,” Andrews said. “For instance, members of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians will open our event with songs in their distinct Southern California style and language.”
The event will include arts and crafts vendors, children’s activity areas and food offerings such as frybread. Vendors will be selling clothes, jewelry and souvenirs. The variety of crafts will include educational material provided by the Tataviam, the historic tribe of northern Los Angeles County.
The Powwow is open to the public, and admission is free. Public parking will be available in the B3 Parking lot, off Reseda Boulevard and Prairie Street.