The Oklahoma State University Powwow is a student-run public event hosted annually by the OSU Native American Student Association at the Payne County Expo Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Tribes from the entire nation are represented in the diverse inter- tribal powwow. This year, Citizen Potawatomi Nation donated $2,000 to help fund the event and the CPN Veterans Color Guard carried the flags during Grand Entry. We asked the president of the OSU Native American Student Association, Ashley Hunnicut, about the powwow and what goes into making the event a success.
What does the Oklahoma State University powwow mean to the community?
“This event helps us celebrate Native American culture and it’s a time for fellowship. It’s also time to dance, eat and educate the community about what being Native American means. The powwow has been going on for years. It’s a tradition and our biggest event of the year. We put a lot of work into it and it keeps growing year after year. Eventually I think it will get too big for the expo center and we will have to find a bigger venue.”
What goes into putting on this type of event?
“We start working on this powwow in the spring. We pick out all of the head male and female dancers, singers and staff. Each year we have to get sponsorships to help pay for the event. Thankfully we have quite a few established sponsors from many different local businesses and the surrounding tribes. Our general members plus the community involvement make this event is what it is. There is a lot of work that goes into but we all work well together and it’s always a great time.”
How will the donation from CPN help?
“We are so grateful for the donation from the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. The donation went to help many different things. The powwow has always been known for its big cash prizes so the donation went to that and it also went to help rent the venue. We also honored all of our head staff with the donations we received.”
For more information on the OSU Native American Student Association please visit their website at cpn.news/nasa1601.