The Circle of Nations Indigenous Association (CNIA) will hold the 29th Annual CNIA Powwow on Saturday, April 6, in the Physical Education Center at the University of Minnesota, Morris in Morris, Minnesota. This one-day cultural celebration is the commencing event of the annual World Touch Cultural Heritage Week. In 2012, the CNIA pow wow featured more than 250 American Indian dancers and singers—the largest in Morris’s history. This intertribal event is free and open to the public.
The CNIA Powwow serves as an opportunity for students to develop leadership skills, promote cultural awareness, and network with potential American Indian students. It also introduces the campus and surrounding community to a contemporary-style pow wow and celebrates the social and cultural ties American Indian students have with Native communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Usually held between April and October, pow wows are social gatherings of hundreds of American Indians who follow dances started centuries ago by their ancestors. These events of feasting, music, and dance are attended by Native and non-Native peoples, all of whom enjoy the opportunity to see old friends and teach the traditional ways to a younger generation. Authentic arts and crafts are also sold by noted jewelers and artisans.
Grand Entry, a procession of all dancers into the dance arena, will occur at 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 6. Doors open at 11 a.m. Free parking is available in the South Lot on campus. This year, the host drum is Iron Boy from Prior Lake. Jerry Dearly, Saint Paul, will serve as master of ceremonies, while the White Earth Veterans Association, White Earth, and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Kit Fox Society, Sisseton, South Dakota, will act as honor guard.
Additional information about the 29th Annual CNIA Powwow is available online at Studentorgs.morris.umn.edu/cnia/powwow or by phone at 320-589-6097.
A nonprofit student organization, the CNIA Powwow Committee depends on university, local, and tribal support for its yearly event.