Celebrating Native American culture

Native American Longhouse

Lauren Sluss News Reporter

Pow-wow, salmon bake,events being held this weekend

After months of selling Krispy Kreme donuts outside of the Native American Eena Haws Longhouse, the NAL and the Native American Student Association will not be keeping the profits to themselves. The money will be offered as a prize to the best dance team during the 40th annual Klatowa Eena Pow-wow, taking place tomorrow.

Along with the pow-wow, two other major events this weekend will work towards bringing awareness and celebration to the Native American culture—the 2016 annual Salmon Bake today at noon in the NAL and a performance by Native rapper Supaman tonight at 7 p.m. in the SEC Plaza.

These events will educate the public on current Native American traditions and will kick off American Indian Week beginning May 14, according to NASA Vice President Matt Williams.

“A lot of times we talk about Native Americans in the past and in the context of U.S. history, but we’re here today,” Williams said. “These events are good opportunities to learn from current traditions.”

Honoring tradition, the Salmon Bake welcomes the public to join over 1,000 people in eating salmon donated by local tribes. The Salmon Bake honors the Native American custom of open-pit style, according to Williams.

“Salmon is a staple food and an important symbol to many tribes in the Northwest,” Williams said. “It’s the Native American Longhouse’s biggest event of the entire year.”

The Salmon Bake fuses the history of Native American tradition, as well as current practices, according to Williams.

“It’s a tradition that has been passed down for thousands of years, and it is unique to the Northwest,” Williams said. “It’s good to acknowledge there were ways of living before modern society, and appreciate how things were done and are continuing to be done today.”

After the Salmon Bake, the public is encouraged to watch Native American hip hop dancer Supaman tonight at 7 p.m. in the SEC plaza, according to NASA President Racheal Croucher.

“Through his mash-up of fancy dancing and hip hop he is explaining our culture,” Croucher said. “Our goal is to bring in both native and non-native people to this outreach event.”

Supaman is from the Crow Tribe in Montana, and is working towards bringing in the youth around the Corvallis area, according to Croucher.

“We want the youth around this area to be interested in the Native American culture,” Croucher said. “Supaman will have a positive performance and will be awesome to see.”

The celebration of Native American culture will conclude with the Klatowa Eena Pow-wow, taking place all day in Gill Coliseum. Klatowa Eena, meaning “Go Beavers” in Chinook jargon, will be welcoming dancers from across the country to compete for prize money raised by NASA.

“The pow-wow’s important because it brings together the Native community,” Williams said. “You’ll see families who travel from pow-wow to pow-wow because there is big prize money at some of them.”

The pow-wow consists of six different dance categories. The men’s categories include traditional, grass dance and fancy dance. Women’s traditional, fancy shawl and jingle dress will be the three female competition categories.

Bad Soul and Stonechild will be the co-hosts drumming to kick-off the grand entries at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and the pow-wow will be led by head woman Laura Grizzlypaws and Levi Blackwolf.

The pow-wow will be accompanied by local Native vendors, selling Indian fry bread and arts and crafts.

More information about the cultural events can be found in the Native American Longhouse, as well as the NASA webpage. The Salmon Bake, Supaman performance and the Pow-wow are opportunities for the OSU community to be informed about Native American culture, according to Native freshmen and biology major Emily Tom.

“It’s cool to have my culture represented proudly,” Tom said. “I like it that everyone can learn about what we do.”

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