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The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Powwow celebrates 20 years with feasts, music and bright colors

This year’s Learning to Walk Together Traditional Powwow brought to NMU by the Native American Student Association celebrates 20 years of bringing the living Native cultures to campus.

The powwow will take place this Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18, in the Vandament Arena.

The doors open at 11 a.m. The grand entries are at noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.

The powwow will consist of a feast meal, a hand drum contest, music, dancing and artisan and vendor booths that will provide various crafts, reference material and food.

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The feast meal and hand drum contest will be held at the Jacobetti Center from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. To attend the feast meal, a weekend button is required.

“Powwows are not considered a performance for an organized audience, but are a time of sharing, reinforcing and expressing our Native heritage,” said April Lindala, director of the Native American Studies and adviser for NASA. “This powwow, being a traditional gathering, allows us to give thanks, honor relatives who may have walked on or celebrate other events such as naming ceremonies, adoptions or birthdays.”

At the center of the PowWow is the drum which is the heartbeat of Mother Earth. Participants dance clockwise, in the Great Lakes Region, around the drum. The majority of the events at the powwow will occur within the circle.

“The proud culture is best displayed by the colorful dancing,” Lindala said. “Each dancer interprets the dance individually depending on his or her dance style. Most dances do not have coordinated choreography and every dancer chooses steps as a way to express his or her own identity.”

“Students should check out our event because it’s just a great time to celebrate life and learning,” said Amanda Weinert, president of the Native American Student Association. “Our powwow and organization helps keep Native culture alive and thriving on campus and within the community.”

NASA funded this event with their First Nations Food Taster that was held in November, grants from tribes in the region, bake sales, letter campaign, a few generous organizations on and off campus and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community awarded two percent monies.

“We would love for as many students (and community members) as possible to join us at some point,” Lindala said. “The nice thing is that anyone can come and go as they need to.”

This event is free to NMU students with their NMU ID, $5 for daily admission and $8 for the weekend button. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

“Our powwow is a way for students to learn about Native culture in a non-appropriated way,” Weinert said.

NASA is still looking for volunteers to help out with the feast meal cleanup in the Jacobetti on Saturday for two shifts: 3 to 6 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.

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