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With COVID in decline, Klatowa Ina Pow-Wow comes back to OSU

Dancers in shawls, frill, and beadwork.
Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws Facebook page
Dancers at the 2019 Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws pow-wow at Oregon State.

After a pandemic hiatus of several years, a major Native American cultural event is coming back to Oregon State University.

The last time dancers and drummers gathered inside OSU’s Gill Coliseum for the Klatowa Ina Pow-Wow was 2019. After COVID-19 hit Oregon that spring, organizers postponed it to keep people safe.

Luhui Whitebear is an assistant professor of Indigenous Studies at OSU, who’s helped organize the event. She told KLCC that it was a tough decision.

Native Americans in feathers and beadwork.
Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws Facebook page.
Dancers at the 2019 Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws pow-wow in 2019.

“It was hard because the students really wanted to get that experience, helping organize a pow-wow," she said. "This is a big part of being able to express yourself on a college campus for students, and to share culture with the local community.”

With COVID rates decreasing due to pandemic measures and vaccinations, organizers said the 44th annual Klatowa Ina Pow-Wow is back this Saturday. Doors will open at noon, with grand entry held at 1pm and 6pm.

Nick Sixkiller is the event’s emcee. Host drum is Black Lodge, with Star Horse as honor drum. Arena director is Anthony Bluehorse. Head woman dancer is Linda Meanus, and head man dancer is Monty Herron. Grand Ronde Honor Guard will be present.

Whitebear added that for the first in more than a decade, the event will also see the return of the pow-wow royalty program.

Organizers include the Native American Student Association, Kaku-Ixt Mana Ina Haws in collaboration with the OSU Division of Student Affairs, and other partners.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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