U pow wow to break down stereotypes, promote awareness

This Friday and Saturday, as a part of the American Indian Awareness Week, the Inter Tribal Student Association, along with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, is holding the U’s 32nd annual pow wow.

The association has been around since 1971.

“[The association] has grown and combined with members of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society here on campus. They have continued this tradition of inter-tribal celebration,” said Anthony Shirley, U student adviser for the association. The 2004 American Indian Awareness Week’s theme is “Unity and Diversity Through History.”

This year’s pow wow will include arts and crafts, food vendors and different varieties of dancing.

The master of ceremony will be Harry James, a Navajo indian. Bob Taylor, a Northern Ute, will be the spiritual leader for the pow wow. The arena director for the event is Funston Whiteman, of Southern Cheyenne and Navajo descent.

The Host Drum will be provided by the Cliff Eagle Singers and the Head Woman will be Bettina Begay, a Navajo and Ms. American Indian U of U 2003-2004.

“The reason for this event is to educate others about our heritage and way of life. The public needs to learn more about the Native American community and how we are all different,” Shirley said. “We each speak different languages and have our own ways of life. We are not all the same. We try to break down stereotypes of the Native Americans.”

However, Shirley said, “We share a rich culture and a common heritage.”

The pow wow will be held in the Union Ballroom on April 2 from 7 p.m. until midnight, and April 3 at 1 p.m.

The admission price is $1 for U students, $3 for the general public and free for those under the age of 6 and older than the age of 55.

“This is an opportunity for the university community to come and celebrate our way of life,” Shirley said.

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