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UC San Diego Hosts Traditional Powwow Celebration May 4-5

The University of California, San Diego will celebrate its 3rd annual Powwow from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 5 on the campus’s Warren Field.

Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

The festival is open to the public and will feature a number of attractions including Native American arts and crafts, food, dancing and singing.

“I am pleased that the Powwow has become an annual event at UC San Diego,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.  “This new tradition gives our campus members the opportunity to learn more about the rich culture and history of Native Americans, and strengthens the ties between UC San Diego and our tribal communities.”

Themed “Empowering Our Native Women,” the event will honor all Native American women in recognition of the recent passing of the Violence Against Women Act, which includes protection for Native Americans, as well as same-sex couples and immigrants. The event will also celebrate the cultural contributions and efforts of all Native American women who include mothers, grandmothers, aunts, daughters and sisters.

The Powwow, which is expected to have about 500 attendees, will begin with a Grand Entry that will feature powwow dancers, flag bearers, head dancers and other performers. The UC San Diego 2012 Veteran of the Year, Carlos Molina, will carry the American flag through the opening of the event to honor of those who have served in the armed forces.

The celebration will also feature the Miss UC San Diego Powwow competition which is open to all Native American women between the ages of 17 and 26. In addition, information will be available on female Native American leaders from all tribes, as well as information for services regarding education, health and wellness.

According to UC San Diego staff member Dina Apple, who helped to organize the event, cultural events such as the UC San Diego Powwow help enrich the campus. “It’s important to maintain a positive Native presence on the campus for students, staff and the community and to educate the UC San Diego community about the rich Native American culture.”

This year’s new location on Warren Field will provide more space and ample parking to accommodate the growing tradition that has attracted more attendees each year.

The Powwow will mark the end of UC San Diego’s year-long recognition of California Native American (CANA) Day which is recognized as an official state holiday on the fourth Friday of every September; however UC San Diego celebrates CANA Day with various activities throughout the academic year. This year, the CANA Day celebration started with a September kickoff. Since then, UC San Diego has observed celebratory events ranging from the “Running Grunion” storytelling and Native American film festival screenings to art displays and high school art and essay contests.

For more information on UC San Diego’s 3rd annual Powwow, go to http://powwow.ucsd.edu.