BYU campus will host the Annual Cedartree Pow Wow in the Wilkinson Center on Mar. 25-26. Student volunteers involved with the Native American community and the Multicultural Student Services encourage all to attend.
Naa’taanii Tsosie, a Navajo senior studying computer science, has danced and volunteered with students in the Pow Wow for several years.
“It’s a very special event to many Native Americans. We have this event for others to come and learn about the Native people and to involve the non-BYU community to feel welcome here on campus,” Tsosie said.
Tsosie is a member of the Tribe of Many Feathers club (TMF), an organization that promotes service and cultural education on Native American customs and traditions.
Kyran Brown, a sophomore studying Latin American studies, is also a member of TMF and has volunteered to help at Pow Wow this year. He said the event is a learning experience, especially for non-Native American volunteers.
“TMF’s purpose is to bring together the community. You don’t have to be Native American to come to Pow Wow and learn through their teachings, traditions and cultures,” Brown said.
Brown also said TMF will help prepare and serve food sold at the event. She said fry-bread and Navajo tacos are always a specialty at Native American celebrations.
Tiana Bettinson, a Navajo senior studying sociology, is an active member of TMF and is also known as Miss Indian BYU. Bettinson has danced at Pow Wows since she was six years old.
“It’s important for students to attend because it’s a great opportunity to learn about another culture one hardly ever knows about,” Bettinson said. “It’s important to be educated on the current Native culture and dancing that exists today.”
Bettinson said Pow Wows celebrate and remember where Native American culture comes from. Pow Wows give elders the chance to teach the children what’s important and what it means to be Native American today.
“You can see people dancing all day, there will be vendors selling Native American jewelry and fry-bread to eat. It’s a great family activity to attend and have fun,” Bettinson said.
Admission to the event is free for BYU students with a student ID and $6 for general admission.