American Indian POW WOWs have become a tradition at The University of Southern Mississippi. Each year, Southeastern tribes gather in Hattiesburg for a lively blend of ceremonial dancing, social gathering and native artistry.
The 9th Annual POW WOW will continue the tradition of celebrating Native American cultures April 15-17 on the green space next to Cook Library at Southern Miss. The event is sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council, Southern Miss College of Arts and Letters, Southern Miss Honors College, Southern Miss VP for Research, Southern Miss Office of Student Activities and Southern Miss Center for American Indian Research and Studies (CAIRS).
“POW WOWs gather folks from our native communities to sing, to dance, to celebrate and to share native customs, songs, stories, food and friendships with other tribal members and with non-native visitors,” said Dr. Tammy Greer, CAIRS director and associate professor of psychology at Southern Miss.
Arts, crafts and demonstrations will start at 11 a.m. on April 15; gourd dancing at 5 p.m. on April 15 and Grand Entry at 7 p.m. The following day, gourd dancing begins at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. with Grand Entry at 1 p.m. and 7 pm. In addition to the traditional ceremonies and festivities, the POW WOW will feature a business workshop to teach Native American students how to turn their artwork into a profitable business.
“Because many tradition keepers are looking for ways to get the youth more involved in our traditions, we are especially excited to offer this entrepreneurship training to Native artists so that they cannot only maintain and transmit the traditional arts, but also support themselves by making a business of their art,” Greer said.
The Native American Student Entrepreneurship Symposium is scheduled for Thursday, April 14 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. This workshop is sponsored by CAIRS, the Southern Miss Department of Economic and Workforce Development, the Southern Miss Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education and the Trent National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship.
“It’s all based on the premise of using one’s resources to create a business that you’ll love,” said Dr. Brent Hales, associate professor and director for the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education at Southern Miss. Hales routinely visits Philadelphia, Miss. to teach an adult learning entrepreneurship class to the Choctaw Tribe.
“While there are a lot of Native American business owners that operate outside of the traditional culture setting this workshop provides the kids a way of utilizing that culture to create a future,” said Hales.
For more information about the POW WOW, contact Greer at 601.466.0948. For more information about the Entrepreneurship Symposium, contact Hales at 601.266.6519.