First Nations is hosting the 52nd Annual UW Spring Powwow at Hec Edmundson Pavilion during April
8th and 9th. The event is open to Native Americans, University students and faculty, the general public,
and many local vendors who are invited to promote their cultural designs and creations. The event will
also host performers, both singers and dancers, from across the Pacific Northwest, United States, and
Canada. Although Native American tribes differ from one another, powwows are a tradition all hold due
to their shared experience of oppression. When the US government began forcing tribes onto
reservations, many tribes had to reconcile their displacement and sharing confined land with rival tribes.
Powwows came out of this tense period as a way for different tribes to gather, build relationships, and
share each other's culture. Today's powwows serve the same purpose, to gather Native Americans from
any tribe and celebrate our cultures together. We welcome non-Indigenous individuals to attend and
learn about our culture and traditions. First Nations also aims to encourage Native youth to pursue a
post-secondary education by creating a space on campus that is accessible to our Indigenous
communities for cultural celebration. Native students only make up 1% of US college students, often
leaving our community's needs unmet. According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, "24% of
18–24 year-old Native American students are enrolled in college compared to 41% of the overall U.S.
population." In order to help our communities gain financial stability and combat public health crises, we
need to support Indigenous students and encourage them to pursue higher education.