UW-Madison, Wunk Sheek, and Native American tribal partners from across the state will host the 45th On Wisconsin Annual Spring Powwow (OWASP) April 11-12 at UW-Madison Field House. This cultural and educational event will be free and open to the public. Doors will open daily at 10 a.m.
The powwow will be a fluid event including dancing, cultural demonstrations and performances. The Grand Entry, which occurs at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and on Sunday at 1 p.m., will feature the Ho-Chunk and Oneida Nation Color Guards, who will lead this opening dance followed by the Head Staff. Other highlights include an Aztec dance demonstration at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and a free children’s activity corner.
More than 30 tribes will be represented at this year’s event. The dancers, drummers and the staff participating in the OWASP 2015 are prominent in the powwow community and have been recognized nationally for their participation on the powwow trail. They include: Host Drum Midnite Express (Minneapolis), Host Youth Drum Tomahawk Circle (Lac du Flambeau), Co-Host Drum Smokeytown Singers (Menominee), and the Invited Drum Ho-Chunk Station (Ho-Chunk), along with Head Man Jason Kingbird (Red Lake), Head Lady Winona Kingbird (Sisseton Wahpeton), Arena Director Randy Paskemin (Sweet Grass First Nations), and Masters of Ceremony John Teller (Menominee) and Dylan Prescott (Ho-Chunk/Potawatomi).
The Masters of Ceremony will provide guests with explanations of what’s happening throughout the Grand Entry and the dancing that follows. Next in the Grand Entry lineup is a veterans’ song, which will invite veterans of all backgrounds and nationalities to walk together in honor of their service. Other Native Americans dancers will then join with the head staff in a variety of dances, showcasing the various styles of dance and regalia. As the dancing continues, audience members will be welcome to join in the Intertribal dances.
The event offers participants a Native American cultural experience rarely seen in this area. It is co-hosted by multiple departments, units and programs at UW-Madison and the Native American student groups, including Wunk Sheek, Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc., and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
The On Wisconsin Annual Spring Powwow 2015 will provide an opportunity to learn outside of the classroom and participate in a contemporary Native event, and enhance the Wisconsin Experience by providing the campus and surrounding community the opportunity to share and to learn the culture of the people indigenous to this area.
For more information, or to join the Powwow Guest Book, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/386904698159041/.