The sound of the beating drums could be heard all through the Tivoli Student Center on the Auraria Campus. The CU Denver American Indian Student Educational Programs and Outreach (AISEPO) hosted the first annual powwow to kick off American Indian Heritage month.
The Powwow included authentic Native American music and dancing. Participants also were treated to Indian tacos. In addition to the festivities, several vendors selling Native American jewelry, books and movies were in the Turnhalle.
“I heard the drums from out in the courtyard,” said CU Denver student Lily Hernandez, “I was really intrigued and had to check it out.”
Hernandez had never seen anything like the dancing and music at the powwow. “It is really cool that we have things like this on campus, it brings such diversity and knowledge here,” she added.
Overall, there were several hundred people who walked through the doors of the Tivoli Turnhalle to glimpse into the lives of Native Americans. The Powwow lasted throughout the day and will continue into the evening.
The dancers performed to traditional ceremonial songs — mostly songs of praise. The dancers were of all ages.
Many of the performers were from the Denver area but some came from New Mexico and Arizona to participate.
CU Denver student Jake Smith said, “The traditional level of this is amazing to watch. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
AISEPO’s mission is to work with faculty, staff and administrators to assist Native American students. They also work to help Native students with the admission process, gathering information about grants and scholarships as well as the actual application process.