BYU Multicultural Student Services hosted their annual powwow celebration, an event showcasing Native American traditions and culture.
The event took place over two days with three different sessions of cultural performances, dance competitions and vendors, including a BYUSA Tribe of Many Feathers sponsored food stand.
Each powwow session began with the “Grand Entrance”, when all the dancers entered the room and performed together. The event showcased different traditions of Native American tribes and highlighted cherished values such as friendship, family, and tradition, as noted on the Pow Wow event website.
Jessica Baxter, a student volunteer at the event, said events like these are important to the Native American community.
“It’s important because they can come together and connect in a way that’s really special and unique to them,” Baxter said.
Powwows are often intertribal, meaning they include members and their respective traditions from different Native American tribes.
Event volunteer Lahela Giles said few people outside the Native American community get to see such events. “I think it’s really fun for people to have fun and immerse themselves in another culture,” Giles said.
Emily Christensen, student programs coordinator for Multicultural Student Services, said the event took months of planning.
“Our team leader started planning in November,” Christensen said. “I never realized how important and involved the event was.”
Christensen said her favorite part of the event was learning about Native American culture. “There are a lot of things I didn’t know before,” she said. “I was able to learn about their culture and the dances as well as much of the symbolism.”
Christensen said Pow Wow is an event for outsiders to come and learn about Native American culture as well.
“Ask questions and have fun,” Christensen said. “It’s an opportunity for people to see different parts of their culture and that’s meant to be appreciated.”