An event not to miss
By Courtney Millsap
The Indian Arts Festival and Powwow has been an EOU tradition since 1971, making this year’s edition the 44th annual event. Occurring the third weekend of May every year, this year’s event will be May 16 and 17 in Quinn Coliseum. All events are free and open to the public. This is only the third year that the powwow has been extended to a two-day event.
Each year, the event has arts and crafts vendors, fry bread and native dancing and drumming. Special events this year are a hand drum contest, Men’s Slick Style dance and Women’s Traditional dance. In addition, this year’s host drum is Red Hawk Canyon.
Another tradition is that the powwow honors women at the event. In an interview in November, Shoshoni Walker stated that during winter and spring terms, Speel-Ya has worked “on Mother’s Day gifts, because our powwow used to be on Mother’s Day weekend and we would honor the mothers and have them come down and give them a gift.”
Walker also mentioned in the interview that she has been attending the EOU powwow since she was a baby. The annual powwow brings together all of the local tribes for one large cultural experience. In addition, it provides great entertainment, since, according to Walker, the crowd can get “into it because a lot of times they will sing funny verses about trying to catch women and stuff like that” during the event.
Along with the events at the festival, there is also the Speel-Ya Run, which offers a 5K, 10K and half-marathon. Registration for the half-marathon begins at 7:30 a.m. and the start time is 8 a.m. For the 5K and 10K races, registration begins at 8 a.m. and the start time for those races is 9 a.m.
Due to cuts from the Student Fee Committee, the Indian Arts Festival is facing a tough financial situation for next year. Since the festival is free, there has been no record kept on how many students actually attend the powwow. This year, the festival will be handing out raffle tickets to students who attend and show an EOU student ID card.
For more information, contact Speel-Ya or Shoshoni Walker at 541-962-3588 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For other online options, visit their Facebook page or their website at www.eou.edu/powwow.