Through music and dancing combined with drums, colorful ribbons and outfits, the “Indigenous Voices Pow Wow” brought an atmosphere of cultural celebration to Weber State this March 31.
This year was the 41st year Weber State University’s American Indian Council student organization hosted the Native American pow wow at Weber State. The pow wow was organized to bring a sense of family, community, pride and tradition through music and dance.
Patricia Benally, senator of the American Indian Council, hoped the pow wow would encourage guests to learn more about Native American culture.
“We hoped community members would gain an appreciation of the beauty of the culture as a whole,” Benally said.
The pow wow was an all-day event, consisting of multiple vendors and a variety of dances and festivities available to the public. Guests were able to enjoy native tacos, burgers and fry bread as they shopped and watched the performances.
Native American pow pows are held to celebrate the new beginning of life and to honor warriors, ceremonies and achievements. A variety of dances are put on by all age groups, ranging from two-year-olds up to seniors.
Nadina Delgado, a member of the American Indian Council, enjoys dancing at pow wows and said her favorite part is watching all of the different dances put on by various groups.
“I love seeing the tiny tots dance and to see that encouragement from their parents and even grandparents. I hope they’ll continue to dance as they grow up,” Delgado said.
The pow wow is a way of honoring the American Indian culture and helping others see a glimpse of what the culture is all about.
The President of the American Indian Association, Bessie Pettigrew, said the focus of this year’s pow wow was titled “Indigenous Voices” in order to reflect on the variety of American Indian tribes within our community.
“We wanted to give tribute to the different tribes we have on campus. In Utah, we don’t often think that about a native community, but we do have Native Americans on campus,” Pettigrew said.
Selina Reyos, an American Indian freshman at Weber State, volunteered at the event. Reyos said the main reason for getting involved with the pow wow was to help others see what her culture is about.
“I hope people see that our culture is important to us, and that we want to keep it alive,” Reyos said.