First Nations Center
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Swenson Hall 3117
Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
First Nations Center
Annual Circle of Native Nations Powwow
TYPICAL POWWOW ETIQUETTE:
By Ivy Vainio
The UW-Superior powwow is open to the entire community, so please encourage your friends and family members to attend! This is a great cultural experience for everyone to be a part of.
Several staff, faculty and students who are attending a powwow for their first time have asked about whether there is anything they should know in advance about how to be respectful at a powwow.
Powwows are fun, but there are a few tips for newbies that might be helpful -- the singularly most important one is this: The emcee/announcer is a professional and if you listen carefully to him you'll have a great time without needing to worry too much about etiquette.
The emcee will let the audience know when photography is okay. There are some songs that you can't take photos so listen to the emcee. Be respectful of someone that you want to take a photo of up-close - ask first. But feel free to take photos of the dancers/dance arena during intertribal songs.
If you should have any other questions please stop by the emcee stand and ask the emcee. Don't worry if you come after the Grand Entry part of the powwow. It's an amazing experience though so you don't want to miss it. Come and go as you like.
Enjoy yourself and be respectful! These are just a few things that I could think of.
If you would like to volunteer during the powwow please contact Gary Johnson, Patser Lynch or Circle of Native Nations at 715-394-8007.
Photo credit: Ivy Vainio
The UW-Superior campus and Circle of Native Nations holds an annual spring powwow in Wessman Arena. The 1:00 PM Grand entry begins the powwow, which lasts until evening; this is a campus and community tradition that many UWS students, faculty, staff, and Superior community members enjoy every year.
Each spring, several of the neighboring first nations from northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan come together at UWS to host this large powwow. Powwows are a Native American gathering and social event that allows for celebration, dancing, and socializing. The powwow includes two Grand Entries, several different hosted drums, a variety of themed dances and feast.
Gary Johnson, Director of First Nation Studies and advisor to the Circle of Native Nations student organization on campus, shared that 400 to 700 people are in attendance at the powwows throughout the day. Circle of Native Nations is the student organization on campus responsible for bringing the powwow together each spring. Over 25 students are involved in planning and facilitating the powwow from invitations to concessions and vendor booths to dressing rooms.
Johnson shared that the annual powwow gets bigger and better each year. Up to a dozen vendors are present to sell handmade jewelry, music CDs, and even fresh maple candy. There are games for children to play and learn about Native culture.
Powwows are just one component of helping UWS Native American students celebrate their culture and help teach others about Native history. Atkinson, Morten, and Sue (1979) developed a five stage minority identity development model to help explain how non-majority students learn about their own culture and develop a sense of self as a minority. Following the first and second stages of conformity to majority culture and dissonance with minority culture, Native American students can enter the third stage of resistance and immersion. Atkinson, et al share that within this stage is when minority students get heavily involved and invested in cultural student organizations and events, such as the powwow. Through the First Nations Center to the First Nations courses, as well as Circle of Native Nations, the UW-Superior campus offers many opportunities for Native and non-Native students to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the local nations and tribes.
Each year, Office of Multicultural Affairs does an excellent job of promoting the powwow, as well as offering etiquette information to newcomers. There is no doubt that efforts like the powwow are key components to the success of Inclusive Excellence at UW-Superior.
Interested in getting more involved with Circle of Native Nations? Contact Gary Johnson for more information.
1:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Feast 5:00 p.m.
2701 Catlin Ave.
Superior WI 54880
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