SOU 31st annual Powwow event over the weekend

MEDFORD, Ore. – The 31st annual Powwow event at Southern Oregon University took place over the weekend.

Alanis Baldy with SOU’s Native American Student Union said a Powwow allows for different indigenous communities and tribes to come together and honor their culture,

“Powwow is really about bringing community together, even if we’re not family we’re family.”

With SOU’s 31st Powwow, Baldy said it’s also an opportunity for people to learn about different tribes and backgrounds,

“This Powwow is really, really good for someone’s first Powwow. It’s really friendly and just really open to the community, indigenous or not.”

The event took place Saturday and Sunday at the Lithia Motors Pavilion on SOU’s campus, and it was free to the public, to watch the dancing, singing, enjoy food and hear stories. SOU’s Native Nations Liaison, Kenwanicahee Kravitz also said that the Powwow is a way for non-indigenous people to engage in their cultures,

“If you ever have the opportunity to meet a native person, talk to them, ask them questions, get to know them, learn about their culture, about their history. We have similar and very different histories across the nations.”

Alongside her was Tori McConnell, Miss Indian World for 2023 to 2024. She’s from Northern California, a member of the Yurok and Karuk tribes.

As Miss Indian World, she acts as an ambassador and said one thing that people can do to learn more about indigenous cultures, is to learn about the challenges they face; like the prevalence of missing and murdered indigenous people,

“During my year as Miss Indian World, actually my brother went missing, and he was missing for a month. And it was so hard getting any help trying to find him and he’s only 22. I’m even named after my aunt who died, and her case was never fully investigated and so that’s a really big issue for a lot of people.”

She adds issues about the environment, wildlife and diversifying education and that Powwow’s are a great way to better connect to your local native communities.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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