CMU Hosts Annual Native Pow Wow

McGuirk Arena was home to another year of tradition while hosting Central Michigan University’s 27th Annual Pow Wow. This event was open to the public and CMU students on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20.

Many CMU students are unaware of what a Pow Wow is, but it is a highly admired, historical and spiritual event to Native Americans and to those who live in a town where a Pow Wow is hosted. There is a Pow Wow happening almost every weekend all over in Michigan, and CMU proudly hosts one of its own.

Every year a CMU Pow Wow Committee is formed, made up of students involved in the Native American Indigenous Organization and Three Fires American Indian Science and Engineering Society. This committee meets every week for several months in order to plan the upcoming Pow Wow that typically takes place the first or second weekend after spring break every year.

At a Pow Wow there are Drum Contests, Dance Contests, Native American Food, Jewelry, Clothing, Medicines, Crafts and other items such as Sage, that can be found and purchased, all aspects showing what the Native American culture is really about.

Traditional foods such as frybread are always enjoyed, along with Indian tacos, walking tacos and a variety of other choices.

The different styles of dance that were judged this year were the Traditional Dance, Grass Dance, Jingle Dress Dance and Fancy Dance. Each style of dance has a purpose and meaning to Native people.

The Jingle Dress Dance, was originally created because it was believed to stop or keep sickness away. Native women would create cloth dresses with 365 metal cones on them, one added every single day of the year, and said with a prayer. At the end of the year the dress is complete and the cones add more beauty to the dress, and create more music while dancing.

Pow Wow’s highlight the Native American culture and allow the community to experience something truly unique. After all, it is not every day that you see people dressed in bright vivid regalia and frequently hear the word “Miigwetch,” which means thank you in Ojibwa.

To find out more about the event, you can visit the Central Michigan Pow Wow page.