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Join in a celebration of American Indian culture at the 26th Annual CNIA Powwow

Posted by Tracy Peterson, Multi-Ethnic Student Program on Wednesday, Mar. 10, 2010


A colorful expression of song and dance will fill the Physical Education Center (PE) at the University of Minnesota, Morris on Saturday, March 27, 2010, when the Circle of Nations Indian Association (CNIA) students hold their 26th Annual CNIA Powwow. In 2009, the event featured more than 130 American Indian dancers and singers representing Native Nations from the United States and Canada. This year’s event is expected to exceed that number. The CNIA Powwow is an intertribal and free public event.

Powwows are social gatherings of hundreds of American Indians who follow dances started centuries ago by their ancestors and that continually evolve to include contemporary aspects. Usually held between April and October, these events of feasting, powwow music, and dance are attended by Natives and nonNatives, all of whom join in the dancing and take advantage of the opportunity to see old friends and teach the traditional ways to a younger generation.

The CNIA Powwow is a wonderful opportunity to introduce the campus and the Morris-area community to a contemporary style powwow, with all the dancing and feasting—and coming together of many Indian people—that accompanies such events across Indian Country. The audience will see dancers representing different tribal nations in full regalia. Authentic Native arts and crafts may be purchased directly from noted jewelers and artisans.

The drum groups are the heart of all powwows and provide the pulsating beat that accompanies a dancer’s every movement. The host drum is Midnite Express from Minneapolis. Northern Wind from Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada, will present, as well as many other groups from surrounding Native communities.

Each powwow begins with the Grand Entry, a procession of all the dancers into the dance arena. Grand Entry will occur at noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 27. Doors open at 10 a.m. Free parking is readily available in the South Lot near Big Cat Stadium off Second Street.

For additional information about the 26th Annual CNIA Powwow, call 320-589-6097 or e-mail or visit the CNIA Powwow Web site.

A nonprofit student organization, the CNIA Powwow Committee depends on University, local, and tribal support for its yearly event.

Photo by Nic Mcphee, professor of computer science