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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 18, 2024

47th annual spring powwow draws more than 8,000 attendees

The Alliant Energy Center hosted the 47th On Wisconsin Annual Spring Powwow over the weekend to celebrate Native American culture and help connect the UW-Madison community with Wisconsin’s 11 Native American tribes.

UW-Madison student organization Wunk Sheek organized the powwow, which was free to the public. More than 8,000 people attended the event, and more than 50 Native nations across the United States were represented. University Housing provided free transportation to the event, which was originally a concern when Wunk Sheek applied for a roughly $20,000 grant for the powwow.

UW-Madison sophomore and member of Wunk Sheek Faith Bowman said people came from all around the state for the powwow, which helps bridge the gap between the Native American students at UW-Madison, who make up under 1 percent of the enrollment, and the rest of the community. She said there is no other event like it on the campus.

“The students on the campus knew the event was happening because of all of the news that has been going on with it,” Bowman said. “That kind of made it a success because they were actually interested. And once they came to the powwow, they got to see how diverse and how traditional yet contemporary our culture is.”

The event had a variety of exhibits and performances, including traditional food, musical performances, and arts and crafts. Bowman said the music, largely comprising of booming drums, and the dancers are the core aspects of the powwow. The songs were sung in different indigenous languages, which she said made each performance unique and especially meaningful.

Bowman said the year-round planning that went into the powwow made the weekend a success, and that Wunk Sheek would start discussing plans for the 48th annual powwow Monday. 

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