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Pow wow

CMU's Annual "Celebrating Life" Pow wow is one of the best ways to experience Indigenous culture. Pow wows are one way Indigenous people’s come together to dance, sing, visit, share handmade crafts, make new friendships, and renew old ones.

Dancing and singing have been a very important part of Indigenous culture. As various tribal communities came together, they share songs and dances with one another. Many songs today are sung in “vocables” with no words although there are still newly composed or revivals of old songs that are sung in indigenous languages. “Vocables” were used to replace the words of old songs so that singers from different tribes could join. The songs heard at a Pow wow are reminders to Indigenous people of their traditional ways and rich heritage and still hold special meaning.

This year's Annual "Celebrating Life" Pow wow

March 23 and 24, 2024

John G. Kulhavi Events Center | McGuirk Arena
Join us for a cultural experience of singing, dance, arts & crafts, and food!

Grand entries

  • Saturday 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm
  • Sunday 12:00 pm
  • Doors open at 11:00 a.m.


        Most dances seen at Pow wows today are social dances that might have had different meanings in earlier days. Although dance styles and content have changed, their meaning and importance have not. The outfits or regalia worn by the dancers, like the styles of clothing today, evolve over time. It is not a stagnant culture, but a vibrant and changing way of life.


        CMU Pow wow celebrates Native American tradition