Annual Powwow Showcases Native American Traditions

Annual Powwow Showcases Native American Traditions
The 8th annual Healing the Earth Powwow will be Nov. 18-19.

The community is invited to participate in Cal Poly Pomona's eighth annual Healing the Earth Powwow on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19.

The annual Healing the Earth Powwow is a large Native American cultural gathering. The Cal Poly Pomona campus collaborates with native groups to provide traditional songs and dances, children's activities, native foods, arts & crafts vendors and more. Prominent Native American dancers, artists, vendors and contemporary musicians take part each year.

“A powwow keeps the Native American traditions alive and encourages the younger generation to continue and help the culture thrive,” says Sandra Diaz, student program coordinator at the Native American Student Canter and the powwow. “It is a time for gathering and socializing for the Native American community, it keeps the Native community connected and in the know of what is going on with the different families.”

Visitors to the powwow are invited to observe and learn about one of many cultural aspects of our Native People, according to Sandy Dixon, assistant professor of Ethnic and Women's Studies.

“This powwow can be an educational experience for all who attend,” she says.

Dixon emphasized the powwow is privileged to host an afternoon Cherokee wedding Saturday, Nov. 18. Festivities are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Gourd dancing begins at 10 a.m. The grand entry, which includes a parade of dancers, will occur approximately at noon. A children's village with arts and crafts will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, a dance exhibition is scheduled at 4:30 p.m.

On Sunday, Nov. 19, activities are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gourd dancing will be at 10 a.m., with the grand entry at noon. The children's village will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Head staff at the powwow include: head man dancer, Dean Webster (Ojibwe/Oneida); head woman dancer, Dawn Gallerito-Thompson (Mescalero Apache); head young man dancer, Corey Thompson (Mescalero Apache); head young woman dancer, Cheyennena Bedonie (Blackfeet/Powhatan/Dineh); M.C., Michael Reifel (San Carlos Apache); arena director, Gene Webster (Ojibwe/Oneida); head gourd dancer, Saginaw Grant (Sac-n-Fox/Iowa/Otoe-Missouri); host southern drum, Hale and Company; host northern drum, Bear Springs Singers; and spiritual advisor John Funmaker (Lakota).

“At a powwow everyone is family,” Diaz says. “That's what I love about it; I'm with family”

The event is free and open to the public. Parking is also free. For more information visit: