Eastern Oregon University > Press > Indian Arts Festival Spring Powwow a celebration of diversity

Indian Arts Festival Spring Powwow a celebration of diversity

Indian Arts Festival Spring Powwow is a celebration of diversity

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu
Source contact: Jackie Leno Grant | Advisor, Speel-Ya Native American Student Council
541-962-31541 | jgrant@eou.edu

April 29, 2013 

Photo by Trent Manns

LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The Indian Arts Festival Spring Powwow is happening in May at EOU and the university is ready to welcome dancers and drummers, artisans and vendors, families and spectators to the anticipated event.

Traditionally held over Mother’s Day weekend, the festival and powwow will occur a little later this year with activities taking place May 17-18 in Quinn Coliseum and the Gilbert Center on campus. Activities are family-friendly and free and open to the public.

The Friendship Feast, Speel-Ya Run, Health Fair and Donation Raffle are all part of the celebration. Grand Entries are at 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday in Quinn.

Sign up for the run at 8 a.m. Saturday in the northwest corner of EOU’s Community Stadium. Registration is $10 for students and $15 for community members.

The awards ceremony, barbecue and Health Fair will take place at 11 a.m. following the run, and the Friendship Feast will be served in the Gilbert Center Saturday evening at 5.

Arts and crafts vendors will be set up both days with a variety of items available to purchase including American Indian style flutes, and beaded and wire-wrapped jewelry.

In addition to the regular lineup of social and competitive dancing, a Men’s Round Bustle Special and a hand drum contest will also offer participants an opportunity to earn extra cash prizes.

“Though a lot of the dancing is contemporary, it’s an expression of old traditions and brings together new and old styles, enabling people to get together and have fun,” said Katie Harris, secretary of the Speel-Ya Native American Student Council at EOU.

Serving as Host Drum this year is Heart Breakers from Boise. Several of the drums from past years are also returning to participate.

Thomas Morning Owl is the Master of Ceremonies, representing the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

“The powwow allows students and community members to view and participate in American Indian culture, traditions and taste native foods,” said Shoshoni Walker, Speel-Ya vice president. “Diversity is a wonderful thing, and continuing traditions like the powwow allow it to thrive.”

The Associated Students of EOU, EOU Student Fee Committee, Speel-Ya, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Cultural Coalition, EOU Foundation, EOU Vending Committee, Eastern Promise and many in-kind donations support the event.

For more information visit www.eou.edu/powwow or call Jackie Leno Grant, Speel-Ya advisor, at 541-962-3141.