PHOENIX, Ore. — Every year, Southern Oregon’s native community comes together to celebrate their history, pride, and heritage with the Spring Powwow
We spoke with Grant Schmechel, a member of Southern Oregon University’s Native American Student Union, about seeing the community come together.
“I think it’s really important because I think it’s not only — because, we’re saying ‘yes, we’re alive, we’re here’ for our sakes, but we’re also letting other people know. Because, you know, there’s this — there’s this idea that, you know, native people aren’t around anymore because we’re not living in teepees on the prairies hunting buffalo anymore, but that’s not what all people were like back then. That’s not what all people are like now. We’re still here and we’re willing to show that we’re still here to other people.”
“It’s really good to see people coming out here and, like, even just getting educated and asking questions. I love it when people ask questions about powwow, ‘oh what does this dance mean, what does this song mean?’ and that gives me the chance to be able to teach and say, like, ‘oh it’s, like, a representative of this thing that happened to native people so long ago’, and it’s great to see people come and be interested and want to be educated.”