44th Annual Sustaining our Culture Powwow

American Indians dancing in costume

The University of Utah's Inter-Tribal Student Association presents the 44rd annual Sustaining our Culture Powwow beginning with the Grand Entry, April 8 at 7 p.m. and two entries on April 9  at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Union Ballroom. The ceremonial Grand Entry is a cultural and spiritual tradition where a parade of participants enters the dance circle hosted by northern and southern drummers. This year’s northern host drum is White Bull, and this year’s southern host drum is Southern Style.

"The Sustaining our Culture Powwow is just that, a time for American Indian/Alaskan Native students, faculty and staff to come together and promote appropriate representation of their culture on campus," said Nathan Begaye, chair for the Powwow planning committee at the U. "This is also an opportunity for the Inter-Tribal Student Association to engage and connect with the larger American Indian/Alaskan Native community in the Wasatch Front."

For Volunteer, Vendor, or Donation Information email: intertribalsa@gmail.com or call 801-581-8151.

Download the poster 

American Indian Powwow Poster 2016


April 8, 2016

5pm - Registration

7pm - Grand Entry

April 9, 2016

10am - Registration

12pm - Grand Entry

5pm - Dinner Break

6pm - Grand Entry


Head Man:
Potato Dance

Head Woman:
Collegiate Social - All Categories

Head Boys
Jr. Boys Grass

Head Girl: 
Jr. Girls Southern Traditional

Golden Age Women's:
Traditional (in honor of Mary Jane Cantsee)

Tiny Tots: 
Native American Trading Post (sponsor)


Head Staff

Northern Host Drum: White Bull

Southern Host Drum: Southern Style

Master of Ceremonies: Bart Powaukee

Arena Director: Joseph Baldwin

Head Woman: Celena Pawaukee

Head Man: William Leonard

Color Guard: Inter-Tribal Veterans Association


Powwow Etiquette

  1. Always stand respectfully during special songs. These include the Grand Entry, flag songs, veteran’s songs or any other song the MC designates. During these songs, men should remove their hats.
  2. Pay extra attention to the MC for various announcements about the event and type of dances.
  3. Ask permission before taking photos of dancers in regalia. If the photo is for publication or commercial use, this should be explained before the photo is taken.
  4. The correct term for a dancer’s outfit is regalia, not costume. Never touch a dancer’s regalia. Many of the ornaments have religious meaning and are cherished family heirlooms.
  5. If you see a lost or dropped feather, do NOT pick it up. Notify the nearest staff member, veteran, Head Man Dancer or Arena Director immediately.
  6. Pointing with the fingers is considered poor manners by some tribes. If you must point, use your head and nod in the direction you wish to indicate.
  7. Feel free to join in the inter-tribal dances by invitation of the MC.
  8. Do not ever cross the arena floor! Do not go into drum circles. Stay on the perimeter. If a drum group is singing or about to sing, do not approach the drum.
  9. Last of all, powwows are meant to be social events. Make a new friend, eat some food, visit the vendors… have a great time!

If you have any questions about any of the above etiquette or would like to know more, please ask an ITSA member. Also, most dancers, singers, elders and staff are happy to help.


Thank you to our sponsors:

Academic Affairs

American Indian Resource Center

American West Center


Athletic Department


College of Health

College of Social Work

College of Social and Behavioral Science

Office for Equity & Diversity

University Marketing & Communications

Urban Indian Center

Young man wearing traditional clothing


A Powwow is a gathering of some of North America's Native people. The word derives from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning "spiritual leader." A modern Powwow is an event where both Native American/First Nations and non–Native American/First Nations people dance, sing, socialize and honor American Indian culture.

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