KU-FNSA Powwow and Indigenous Culture Festival
The University of Kansas First Nations Student Association (FNSA), in collaboration with the Lied Center, will host the 29th annual KU Powwow and 2nd annual Indigenous Culture Festival on April 1, 2017. The festival is a free community event featuring a day-long Powwow as well as activities including Indigenous films, educational workshops and children’s activities focused on Indigenous cultures and history. Regional Indigenous artists and craftspeople will have items for sale. In addition, Indigenous food items will be available for purchase throughout the day.
FNSA has presented the KU Powwow for 29 years with limited success and participation, but last year, FNSA and the Lied Center established a partnership with a vision to foster the growth of unique educational opportunities for KU, Lawrence, and neighboring communities. This collaboration brought new resources and significant increases in contest participants, community attendance, cultural experts, food vendors, and craft vendors. The result was over 3,000 local and regional attendees for what was possibly the first sanctioned Powwow to be held on a performing arts center stage.
Although collegiate Powwows are typically single-day events compared to the customary three-day celebrations hosted by tribal nations and organizations, the current festival has potential to grow. The competitions at Powwows are intertribal, but are categorized by age, gender, and specific dance and singing styles from all across North America. Powwows restore the hearts, minds, and bodies of Indigenous People by keeping them active — more young women and men are proud to grow their hair long, learn how to bead, sew, dance, sing, make our instruments, and learn our languages so we can make, listen and dance to plentiful songs that heal and bring joy to many. This has led to a rampant growth in popularity for Powwows across the United States and Canada.
Consider donating a gift of any size to maintain free access to this unique event that will help advance diversity and equity initiatives at the University and in our local communities. With your help, the Powwow and Indigenous Culture Festival can continue as an annual community event, increase regional participation, and even draw a broader, multi-state audience to make this an annual highlight for our community.
If you have further questions, please contact Melissa Peterson, FNSA advisor.
For more information about attending the festival on April 1, please visit the Lied Center website.