Annual NC State Powwow

Power in Acknowledgement
Saturday, March 30, 2024 | 12 - 5 PM
North Carolina State University | Miller Field

Please join us for a time of gathering, family, and the celebration of Indigenous culture!  NC State’s 33rd Annual Powwow consists of Native business vendors, traditional drum groups, and the display of different Indigenous dance styles. It is a time for not only the native community to come together, but also a time for the NC State community as a whole to learn and engage with this rich culture.

Powwow culture within Native communities originated as an opportunity for tribal nations to unite and celebrate their respective identities and cultures.  Often, this has been a way to provide a visual representation of the beauty and resilience of Native peoples across the country.

This year’s Powwow theme is “Power in Acknowledgement”.  For Native communities, recognition of presence and existence is crucial to rewriting the narrative of only existing in the past.  In North Carolina and beyond, Native people still contribute to the present-day landscape of the United States through multiple avenues and professions.  “Power in Acknowledgement” aims to affirm this reality, while also showing the beauty of how far Native communities have come through the celebration of Powwow.

Powwow FAQ

Everyone!  While powwow’s origin revolved around a time for Native communities to come together, it has evolved into a space where non-Natives are often allowed to attend and gain insight into the culture of native peoples across the country.  This is particularly the case with collegiate powwows, and it is actually encouraged for people of different backgrounds and identities to come to learn and gain insight.

Expectations/requirements are contingent on the particular powwow.  For NC State’s Annual Powwow, the expectation is that powwow dancers represent a Native community/tribe.  Tribal documentation is not required, however, we encourage those participating to make sure that they represent ties to a specific Native tribe/community.

A couple of tips for engaging the powwow space are as follows:
  • Video recording and pictures are fine.  However, if you are attempting to take pictures of specific people, please ask their permission prior to doing so. Additionally, do not touch individual regalias without permission.
  • Don’t walk through the powwow dancing arena.  Typically chairs and seating surround the dancing arena space, which is in the form of a circle.  There will be plenty of space to move around outside of the dance arena, and vendors will be set up on the perimeter as well.

While dancing is typically a focal point of powwow, this is also a time for vendors to attend and display their items.  Over the years, collegiate powwows, (particularly NC State) have enjoyed being able to support Native-owned vendors who represent multiple tribes and nations. Vendor items can range from jewelry, crafts, blankets, and more.