Powwow to Celebrate American Indian and Native Alaskan Month

Posted: October 25, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

Individuals from Red War Pony, a local drum group, will be on hand tomorrow at the Fairfax Campus to provide an introduction to traditional native dance and music. This pre-powwow dance workshop takes place in the Grand Tier Lobby of the Center for the Arts Concert Hall at 5:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Office of Diversity Programs and Services (ODPS) and the American Indian/Alaskan Native Student Association (AIANSA) as part of American Indian and Native Alaskan Month, which is celebrated in November.

The second annual campus powwow is Thursday, Nov. 11, from noon to 10 p.m. in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall. Traditional food and crafts will be available, and the powwow is free and open to the public. On that day, traditional native dishes will be served in Ciao Hall from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Two prominent speakers will be on campus during the month. On Thursday, Nov. 4, Bobby Gonzalez, a Native American/Latino lecturer, storyteller, and poet, presents “Exploring the Cultural Diversity of Native America.” His presentation, which examines the art, life ways, spiritual beliefs, history, and outstanding leaders of indigenous nations from the Caribbean and North, South, and Central America, is in Dewberry Hall at 4 p.m.

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, the university hosts Gabrielle Tayac, a curator at the National Museum of the American Indian, which celebrated its grand opening in September. Tayac, a Beaver Clan citizen of the Piscataway Indian Nation, is a scholar-activist committed to empowering indigenous perspectives. She will give an overview of the new museum and speak to the processes involved in the exhibit that she co-curated, Our Lives: Contemporary Native Life and Identity. Her talk is at 7 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Room E.

An AIANSA benefit concert is on Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Harris Theatre. It features Ulali, a First Nations Women a cappella trio that breaks the stereotypes of native women. Also featured is Dovie Thomason, an award-winning Lakota/Kiowa Apache storyteller and cultural educator. Urban Indigenous Delight will give a short performance as well. Tickets are $16.

Other events in November include film screenings and a prejudice reduction workshop sponsored by Mason’s Multicultural Research and Resource Center. For more information about the benefit concert or additional events, call ODPS at 703-993-2700.

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