American Indian Awareness Week culminates with Pow Wow

An American Indian Pow Wow, a traditional food tasting and a panel discussion on the health of American Indians are among the highlights of American Indian Awareness Week March 23-28. All events are free and open to the public.

The annual awareness week and Pow Wow, hosted by the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, allow American Indian students to share their unique cultures with the campus and the St. Louis community.

The theme of this year’s events is “Celebrating Community Health and Wellness.”

“Based on our academic experiences and the addition of the Brown School’s new Master in Public Health program and the University’s new Institute of Public Health, ‘Celebrating Community Health and Wellness’ is a good fit,” said graduate student Matthew Kull, Pow Wow co-chair.

“As Native nations continue to strive toward improved standards of living for their tribal members, we hope our Pow Wow will be an additional resource for educational materials and resources to improve health in Indian country,” Kull said.

The celebration kicks off Monday, March 23, with an information booth and Buder Scholar panel discussion on “Raising Consciousness: Faculty and Peer Awareness of Native Health” at 11 a.m. in Goldfarb Hall, Room 132.

Movie night on Tuesday, March 24, features “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?” at 6 p.m. in Goldfarb Hall Student Commons.

At 4 p.m. March 26, Chief Albert White Hat Sr., chair of the Lakota studies department at Sinte Gleska University on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, will discuss Lakota life, including language, history, philosophy and spirituality. Afterward, students and staff will offer a sampling of American Indian foods in the Goldfarb Student Commons.

Buder scholars and Chief White Hat Sr. will present Pow Wow 101 in the Danforth University Center Fun Room. Attendees will be able to find out everything they want to know about an American Indian Pow Wow.

The celebration culminates March 28 in the Field House with the 19th annual Pow Wow, a festival of American Indian dancing, singing, drumming, arts, crafts and food. Health information booths at the event will provide information on diabetes prevention and awareness; first aid certification with the American Red Cross; heart disease information; and services available to veterans through VA Hospitals.

Intertribal and contest dancing take place at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Traditional arts and crafts booths open at 10 a.m.

“The Buder Scholars continually work to support and ensure the occurrence of the Pow Wow because it provides an opportunity to make non-Native Americans in the St. Louis community aware of the issues facing Indian Country,” said Sherri Brooks, Buder scholar and Pow Wow organizer.

“Not only is the Pow Wow an annual event that provides cultural enrichment to the local and University community, it is an important event for the St. Louis Native American community. It is the only consistent Pow Wow in over a 100-mile radius,” Brooks said.

The Buder Center, the American Indian Student Association, the Seneca Tribe, the Women’s Society and several departments as well as area businesses and organizations sponsor the American Indian Awareness Week and Pow Wow.

For more information, call 935-4510 or visit