Eastern Oregon University > Coronavirus Information > Archives > March 20, 2020 – Indian Arts Festival and Pow Wow canceled

March 20, 2020 – Indian Arts Festival and Pow Wow canceled

Indian Arts Festival and Pow Wow canceled

Student leaders of Speel-Ya Club decided today to cancel and postpone the 50th EOU Powwow, which was scheduled to take place May 15 on campus. Even though the event is scheduled after the four-week period defined by state officials, club leaders and advisers decided to cancel the event to ensure the health and well-being of members and the powwow circle.Club leaders released this statement:
“We appreciate all the hard work you have put into preparation you have already invested in the planning. Our decision was not made lightly and some of the reasons we considered included: 

  • The Oregon Health Authority says, “predicted cases in the state which by May 15th, could be as high or higher than 75,000; the World Health Organization made its pandemic decision; and there was a need for a consistent set of measures for the state.” Learn more.
  • The state and university have enacted measures to increase social distancing in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect students, faculty, staff, and the tribal community.
  • To do our part, this cancellation will help our students, tribal people, and community members to stay home and help lower the potential infection curve. To protect those most vulnerable.
  • With the Oregon state mandate for large gatherings, most people will not want or be comfortable risking their health and will not be able to attend.
  •  Even if the ban is lifted, which we cannot be sure of the future because the current status of the pandemic evolves daily. Because many children & elders attend the powwow we would not want to put them at risk.”

Please contact Native American Program Director Katie Harris Murphy at harri20@eou.edu if you have questions.