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American Indian Awareness Week begins today

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  • American Indian Awareness Week begins today

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    April 9, 2007 > American Indian Awareness Week begins today

    American Indian Awareness Week begins today

    By Jessica Martin

    An American Indian Pow Wow, a presentation on American Indian mascots in sports and a traditional food tasting are among the highlights of the University's American Indian Awareness Week April 9-14. All events are free and open to the public.
    The annual awareness week and Pow Wow allow American Indian students to share their unique cultures with the rest of the campus and the St. Louis community.

    Both a political and a technical representative from Ottawa's National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) will present "Invisible Minorities: Urban First Nations Peoples" at 3 p.m. April 9 in Brown Hall Lounge.

    The NAFC's discussion about urban native communities continues April 10 during "Urban Native Community Organizing: the Canadian Experience," at 5:30 p.m. in Brown Hall Lounge.

    "We are very honored by the NAFC's willingness to join us and not only inform many about the existence and identity of urban native communities, but also to meet directly with our St. Louis native community," said Dana Klar, interim director of the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

    "St. Louis has a sizable, largely unseen, but certainly impassioned, urban native community actively engaging in activities through at least five organized groups," Klar added. "One goal of mine is the creation of an alliance, or coalition, of these groups so that on occasion, a larger body may meet in service to all. We are hopeful that the NAFC can provide inspiration and information as to how best to achieve this goal."

    On April 11, Buder Center students and staff will offer a sampling of American Indian foods from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Lopata Courtyard and the Goldfarb Student Commons.

    Hugh Foley, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and fine arts at Rogers State University, will present "Savage Country: American Indian Mascots in Sports" at 2 p.m. April 12 in Room 458 of Louderman Hall.

    "This is a very controversial topic in the greater St. Louis region due to the retirement of Chief Illiniwek at the University of Illinois," Klar said. "Foley will address this issue on many levels and discuss it as a multifaceted issue rather than one with just a clear 'right or wrong' response."

    The celebration culminates April 14 in the Field House with the 17th annual Pow Wow, a festival of American Indian dancing, singing, drumming, arts, crafts and food. This year's theme is "Honoring Women: They Keep the Fire Burning."

    "The Pow Wow is so important to the St. Louis community," says Dawn M. Jordan, Pow Wow co-chair and first-year social work student. "The Pow Wow is a time for us to connect with other Indian people, and I think it provides a sense of belonging.

    "Being an American Indian living in an urban area like St. Louis, many times you are the only Indian person in your workplace, school or neighborhood," Jordan added. "For non-natives, the Pow Wow is an opportunity to experience the rich heritage of the American Indian culture."

    Intertribal and contest dancing take place at 1 and 6 p.m. Traditional arts and crafts booths open at 10 a.m.

    A special highlight this year is the Pow Wow's presentation of the returning art exhibit "Nations On The Trail," a series of 11 elaborately painted table coverings by Nardi Hobler.

    Hobler created a special edition 12th covering that recognizes the eight resident Buder scholars. It will be exhibited for the first time during the Pow Wow. A commemorative poster featuring this 12th piece will be available for purchase.

    The American Indian Awareness Week and Pow Wow are sponsored by the Buder Center, the American Indian Student Association, the Women's Society and several departments, as well as area businesses and organizations.

    For more information, call 935-4510 or visit
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

  • #2
    It good to know that this year's urban pow wow is honoring women. And YES, we are the fire that keeps the world warm.

    thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...


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