25th annual Pow Wow April 4

Buder Center event to take place this year at Fontbonne University

While the location of the annual Pow Wow is changing this year, the tradition and excitement are not.

A scene from last year’s Pow Wow. (Credit: Jerry Naunheim Jr./WUSTL PHOTOS)

The 25th annual Pow Wow, a celebration of American Indian cultures at Washington University in St. Louis, will be held Saturday, April 4, at the Dunham Student Activity Center on the campus of nearby Fontbonne University. It was moved from the Danforth Campus this year due to construction at the Field House.

The event, hosted by the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies at the Brown School, is free and open to the public.

This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Elders: Healing Our People Through Tradition.”

In American Indian communities, elders safeguard traditional knowledge and skills including language, stories and healing traditions, as well as arts and crafts. Elders often mentor younger generations, passing the wisdom of their experiences and cultural knowledge from one generation to the next. New leaders, including the students at the Brown School, carry on the values of their revered elders, and traditional knowledge remains intact for centuries.

“We hope this year’s Pow Wow brings together tribes from all parts of the country to join us for a day of dance, celebration, prayer and laughter while sharing our strong cultures with the public,” said Wynette Whitegoat (Navajo), Brown student and second-year Pow Wow co-chair.

“As Native people, we continue to balance education, tradition, and modern teachings to improve Native well-being,” she said.

Visitors and participants will be able to enjoy dancing, singing, drumming, arts, crafts and food. Grand entries will take place at Noon and 6 p.m. Traditional arts and crafts booths and community information booths open at 10 a.m.

“The 25th Annual Powwow is an inter-tribal gathering of American Indians/Alaskan Natives to dance, sing, become friends, share meals and share traditions,” said Veronica Bruesch (Wichita/Ponca), Brown student and first-year Pow Wow co-chair.

“For St. Louis locals, this is a great way to experience and see how American Indians and Alaskan Natives practice their culture,” she said.

The event is sponsored by the Buder Center; the Women’s Society of Washington University; and the Brown School Student Coordinating Council.

For more information, visit buder.wustl.edu/Events/Pages/Pow-Wow.aspx.

What is a Pow Wow? Washington University’s Buder Center has been holding them annually for 25 years.