By Estela Hernandez, public relations, University of Utah Office for Equity and Diversity
The University of Utah’s Inter-Tribal Student Association (ITSA) presents the 45th annual Powwow on April 7 and 8 in the Olpin Student Union, Ballroom. The Powwow will begin with the Grand Entry, April 7, at 7 p.m. and two entries on April 8, at noon and 6 p.m. Grand entries are part of cultural and spiritual traditions of American Indian nations, where participants parade into the dance circle in sync to the beat of host drums. This year’s host drum will be Red Spirit, celebrated drum group from Fort Duchesne.
This year, the theme for the U’s Powwow is “Be Legendary, Honoring our Unity: A Tribute to the Northern Ute Tribe.”
“We decided to take a different approach to the theme,” said Hailee Roberts, U student and chair for the Powwow committee at the U.
For the past few years, the Powwow has focused on the theme, “Sustaining Our Culture,” but Roberts said the committee wanted to move a step further and acknowledged that the number of Native Americans in higher education is low and that their presence at the U puts them in a position to do amazing things for their communities.
“We are grateful that we have the opportunity to get an education and take on the responsibility to be legendary.”
Though this year’s Powwow is dedicated to the Northern Ute Tribe, ITSA also wanted to highlight the unity that Native American tribes have demonstrated during recent events, such as the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“One of the most significant parts of Standing Rock was the fact that there were more than 300 federally recognized Native American tribes that supported the Standing Rock Tribe, even though some of these tribes have historically been at odds with each other,” Roberts said.
The 45th annual Powwow is free and open to the public. For more information, visit diversity.utah.edu.