Photograph of Sam Sierra the Head Man selected for a past Annual CSUN Powwow. Samuel Sierra is a member of the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo tribe from El Paso, Texas, and is half Filipino. Photo provided via CSUN Powwow Facebook.
The 38th Annual CSUN Powwow will take place Nov. 25, to celebrate American Indian communities of Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. The powwow is scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Sierra Quad, located in the center of campus at 18111 Nordhoff Street in Northridge.
“More than 250,000 American Indians live in Los Angeles County,” said Scott Andrews, who is a professor in the CSUN American Indian Studies Program and the Department of English. “That population is spread across a large geographic area, and powwows are one way members of that community stay in touch with each other.
“Powwow music and dance styles reflect mostly the cultural traditions of Southern and Northern Plains tribes, but they have evolved to include Native traditions from their local areas,” Andrews said. “For instance, members of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians will open our event with songs in their distinct Southern California style and language.”
The CSUN campus is located in the unceded territory of Sesevenga, a village that was located near Porter Ranch. The Sesevitam were its occupants, and are ancestors to the Tataviam, with whom CSUN partners in educational and community programs.
The powwow will begin at 11 a.m. with a gourd dance, which is a ceremonial dance that honors veterans. That will be followed at 12:30 p.m. by the Grand Entry, which includes a procession of all the day’s dancers in traditional regalia, opening blessings, greetings, and songs.
The event will feature Indigenous music and dance, arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, and food, such as frybread. Vendors will be selling clothes, jewelry, and souvenirs.
The powwow is hosted by the American Indian Studies Program and the American Indian Student Association. Its co-sponsors include the Associated Students, the University Student Union, University Parking Services, the College of Humanities Dean’s Office, the college’s Academic Programming Fund, and the Educational Opportunity Program.
The powwow is open to the public, and admission is free. On the day of the event, parking is free of charge in the B3 Parking Structure. Regular parking fees apply in other lots. For more information, contact the CSUN American Indian Studies Program at (818) 677-5030 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.