For five years now, members of dozens of tribes — from the Assiniboine to the Yakama — have gathered in Cone Field House to drum and dance, to sing and pray, to share their history and traditions with people of all cultures. The annual Social Powwow is a reunion and a community gathering, a time of celebration calling for the finest regalia.
The event is sponsored by Willamette’s Native American Enlightenment Association and has attracted more than 1,000 visitors in recent years. According to Anthropology Professor Rebecca Dobkins, this year’s “grand entry” opening ceremony drew a record crowd.
The Powwow capped a weekend of meetings of the Native American Advisory Council, March 16–17 in Salem. Tribal representatives convened to discuss the future of programming at Willamette for Native students and alumni, the University’s commitment to tutoring Native students at the nearby Chemawa Indian School, and long-term plans to build a longhouse on campus to facilitate the University’s mission to serve Native communities of the Willamette Valley.