One way to raise awareness and increase enrollment of American Indians at your university would be hosting a pow wow. There is no explicit tie-in between the 12th annual Tutxinmepu Pow Wow will be held on Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24, hosted by the University of Idaho Native American Student Association in Moscow, Idaho, but the university’s ongoing effort to increase American Indian enrollment at the school cannot be hurt by continuing this cultural legacy. This event is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Moscow Junior High School gym, 1410 East D St. in Moscow, ID.
The Tutxinmepu Pow Wow is a gathering of Northwest Indian tribes. “Tutxinmepu” is a Nez Perce word for “the place where the deer lost their spots,” which refers to the Palouse region of the northwestern United States, a major agricultural area that encompasses portions of southeastern Washington, north central Idaho, and parts of northeast Oregon.
“Pow wows provide a cultural learning experience that helps to bridge the cultural gap between the Native communities and non-native communities,” said Steve Martin in a University of Idaho Press Release. Martin is the director for the University of Idaho’s Native American Student Center. “This celebration also increases greater Native American awareness on the University of Idaho campus,” Martin said.
The University has been actively trying to recruit more American Indians, starting with the school’s “Native Pipeline,” which was established in 2004 under the umbrella of enrollment managagement. The goal of the implementation of this program was to institute a single point of contact within the university to “make a more concereted effort in targeting, recruiting, and retaining American Indian students. The efforts have been slow in going, as a recent Yale Daily News report put the American Indian enrollment at the university at one percent. The university remains committed to the effort, however, hiring ‘multicultural recruiters’ to help lead recruitment of American Indian, Latino, and other underrepresented student populations.
The Tutxinempu pow wow is a way to highlight the school’s interest ina and support of American Indian culture. This year the host drum will feature Red Hoop, from Dresslerville, Nevada. The master of ceremonies will be Fred Hill Sr. (Yakama, Cayuse, Nez Perce). Larry White (Navajo) will serve as the arena director; and Janice Ellenwood (Colville) will serve as head judge.
The two dances being showcased this year at the Tutxinmepu Pow Wow are the men’s and women’s team dance special and a chicken dance special. Saturday afternoon includes a Pay and Match one-man hand drum contest. There will be arts and crafts, a raffle, and vendors.
“The Tutxinmepu Pow Wow is just one way that the University of Idaho demonstrates its commitment to the Native American communities and our Native American college students,” said Martin. “Hosting this event on the University of Idaho campus brings a part of our Native American way of living to this campus that allows our Native American students to connect more strongly to this university. The Tutxinmepu Pow Wow also has impact on those prospective Native Americ