Native Student Alliance celebrates culture with 3rd annual powwow

DU’s Native Student Alliance (NSA) hosted its 3rd annual New Beginnings Spring Powwow on Sunday May 19. The powwow was a social gathering of the Native American community and the Denver community in order to honor the cultural history of Native American people and their traditions.

What is a “powwow”?

Members of the Native community attended from all over the United States.

Members of the Native community attended from all over the United States.

According to Julia Bramante, Co-President of NSA, a powwow is a celebration of culture and spirituality in native communities, incorporating dance and song.

“It’s a huge event where we invite people from the Native community all over the United States as well as the entire DU community,” said Bramante.

The campus-wide event, held on DU Driscoll Green, was free and open to the public. Vendors sold handcrafted jewelry, art, clothes and home goods while people of all tribal affiliations and all ages gathered to dance, sing, drum and eat together.

As a contest powwow, dancers in each category were judged on how well they adhered to their style of dance, how well they combined their dance with their outfit, called their “regalia,” with money prizes available for first, second and third places.

Guests attend from all over campus, all over the U.S.

Amanda Williams, Co-President of NSA, said that many came together to support the Native Student Alliance, with word of mouth and respect being highly valued in the the native community across the United States.

“It’s like a family within a world basically, we are there to support each other. Whenever we have these powwow’s, people come from all over,” said Williams.

While the turnout was greater this year than it has been in past years, NSA is always striving to have a bigger turnout.

“Last year it was really big, and this year it seems to be bigger so it’s progressing. We’re trying to make it not just an annual NSA tradition but DU tradition,” Williams said.

The Powwow and Inclusive Excellence at DU

Chancellor Coombe attended Sunday's powwow.

Chancellor Coombe attended Sunday’s powwow.

Chancellor Robert Coombe was in attendance and spoke about how trying to get more students out to events such as the powwow are examples of how DU is constantly striving to be a more inclusive university.

“An institution like ours can be very diverse but if we really don’t try to understand one another we’re not going to be able to reap the benefits of that diversity. That’s what inclusion’s about,” said Coombe.

Events such as the powwow, said Coombe, present an opportunity for the DU community to better understand native students and bring everyone together.

“Part of inclusive excellence at the University has to do with everybody learning about one another and understanding one another so that we can create this kind of community here that takes advantages of everyone’s differences,” said Coombe.



One Response to Native Student Alliance celebrates culture with 3rd annual powwow

  • Elizabeth Pinkerton
    Elizabeth Pinkerton says:

    Overall, this was a really interesting video, with a great topic. You set up your videos nicely, and paid attention to the rule of thirds, and filling the frame when you shot your B-roll. My main criticism is that sometimes the narration seemed awkward and was a different noise level than the other interviews. There were no credits at the end of your video, and you seem to be missing hyperlinks from your written story. Nevertheless, the content in the video was extremely informational and matched up nicely to the B-roll. Great job guys!

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