Pow Wow a celebration of heritage

Day-long event will be held on April 25 at Redsten Gymnasium

Dancers and guests filled the Redsten Gymnasium at the Truax campus for the 2011 Madison College Pow Wow.

Clarion file photo

Dancers and guests filled the Redsten Gymnasium at the Truax campus for the 2011 Madison College Pow Wow.

Andrea DeBauche, Staff Writer

Madison College and the Native American Student Association (NASA) will host its annual pow wow on Saturday, April 25. It will be held in the Redsten Gymnasium at Truax campus.

There is an admission price of $5. Elders (55 and older) and children 5 years and younger can enter for free. The doors will open at 11a.m. and a Dinner Feast will be served at 5 p.m. Grand Entries will be at 1p.m. and 7p.m. The admission price includes food and all day access to the event.

Katie Ackley is coordinating the event for now her third year. She is the Native American Program Specialist and Interim Advisor for United Common Ground. She describes the pow wow as being a “staple” of Madison College for many years. She says the tradition of having such an event at the school goes back at least 20 years.

Ackley says she is grateful to have the opportunity to share Native culture with the Madison College community. She says it showcases diversity on campus and creates “an excellent opportunity for students, faculty and staff to learn about a rich culture that is often overlooked.”

Ackley describes the pow wow as a way Native American students and other youth can reconnect or learn more about their culture.

For all the Native community in the Madison area, it’s an additional opportunity for “fellowship and fun”.  In years past, she has seen all ages having fun. And she has often seen youth learning the traditional ways from their elders.

She encourages all students and staff to attend.  Singing and dancing can go on all day. Dancers will wear their regalia. And some dances are open for anyone to participate. Vendors will be selling items and NASA will have a food stand from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., where they will sell Fry Bread, a traditional Native American food.

The theme of the pow wow this year is “Celebrating Achievements, Community, and Culture.”  Ackley adds, “and by that we mean come on out to celebrate by enjoying some drumming, singing, dancing, food and fun!”