American Indian powwow to return April 2-3

March 18, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After a one-year hiatus, Penn State’s signature diversity event, featuring American Indian dancers and drum groups from communities and reservations across North America, is returning to central Pennsylvania.

The New Faces of an Ancient People Traditional American Indian Powwow will be held April 2-3 at Mount Nittany Middle School in Boalsburg. The American Indian Powwow is a free and open event that symbolizes American Indian identity through family-oriented celebrations of community, culture and spirituality.

The powwow is a contemporary social gathering and celebration of community featuring American Indian drum music and songs, Native American dance, and Native American foods, as well as American Indian vendors showcasing and selling their arts and crafts.

“Everyone, native or non-native, is welcome, and admission is free,” said powwow coordinator John Sanchez (Ndeh Apache), an associate professor in Penn State’s College of Communications. In addition to watching traditional native dancing, there are times when non-natives are invited into the dance arena to share an inter-tribal dance.

Regarded as one of the area’s finest family and cultural events, the powwow has also earned a national reputation as one of the best in the country.

More than 6,000 people visited the last American Indian Powwow in 2014, with many visiting the American Indian kitchen to sample buffalo burgers, American Indian frybread and other themed foods.

The powwow will run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 3. There will be a free shuttle to the powwow from the HUB-Robeson Center at Penn State’s University Park campus every 30 minutes during the event.
The New Faces of an Ancient People Traditional American Indian Powwow is sponsored by the College of Communications, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, College of Education, Schreyer Honors College, Penn State Alumni Association, Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, University Libraries, Penn State Outreach and Online Education, and Penn State Student Affairs.

For more information, visit or contact Sanchez at

  • Lewis Wolfgrass Irwin, of the Mandan Nation, took part in a ceremonial inter-tribal dance at the 2012 New Faces of an Ancient People Traditional American Indian Powwow.

    Read more ›
    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated April 19, 2017