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Spring Pow Wow

May 7, 2022 | Welsh Ryan Arena | Noon-5:00 PM

Message from Pow Wow Planning Committee


Three years ago, current NAISA Co-Chair Isabel St. Arnold was a freshman here at Northwestern. She was surprised to learn that there was no student run pow wow on campus. And then after attending the Big 10 Conference for Native students at Indiana University and learning of other pow wows being planned by fellow Native students at Big 10 Universities, Isabel was further motivated to work towards making a student run pow wow be an annual event run by NAISA at Northwestern. With Covid-19 and the long event planning process, it’s taken three years to make the 1st Annual Spring Pow Wow happen.

We decided to put on a traditional pow wow as opposed to a competition pow wow.  We recognize that Native traditions can be inaccessible to many Native communities. Because of this, we felt it was important to host an event which is most welcoming. Regalia can be expensive, often creating a barrier for those who can’t afford it. We also seek to create a space for our communities which is free of commercialization and commodification. Our Pow Wow is a ceremony, and we are doing our best to ensure it is one in which all feel welcome and included.

The Pow Wow Planning Committee has worked incredibly hard throughout the year to put together our 1st Spring Pow Wow. We are so thrilled to see it coming to life here at Northwestern University. We are extremely grateful for everyone who has supported us and we hope you’ll enjoy the pow wow as much as we will.

Miigwech, Wa do, Nya:wëh, Maarsii, Tʼáá íiyisíí ahéheeʼ,

Isabel St. Arnold, Alivia Britton, Athena GoingSnake, Aaron Golding, Syd Gonzalez, Olivia Masse, Mel McDaniel, Kadin Mills, and Niyo Moraza-Keeswood

What is a Pow Wow?

A Pow Wow is a family-friendly, intergenerational cultural celebration held by many Native and Indigenous communities. This event is open to all and is a space for Native and non-Native people to gather together to dance, eat, socialize, share art, be in community, and much more. 


Pow Wow Etiquette

  • Don’t point at dancers/at regalia, that’s what your lips and chin are for ;)
  • Be respectful of participants and dancers—dance regalia are not costumes and permission should be asked before taking pictures of a dancer.
  • The Emcee will explain and introduce the different events and dances throughout the Powwow.
    • Always stand during honoring songs including grand entry, flag songs, veteran’s songs, and other songs as designated by the emcee. Hats should also be removed. 
  • Do not enter the dance arena without permission. The arena will be open to general attendees during the following dances: 
    • Intertribal, potato dance, two-step, snake dance, round dance, life givers honor song/matriarchs in our lives, blanket dance, honor songs after those being honored have gone around the circle one time
  • If a drum group is singing or about to sing, do not bother them. Permission should be asked prior to recording. 
  • Chairs closest to the dancing arena are reserved for dancers, singers, and elders.

Who is NAISA?

The Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA) is a student organization on Northwestern University’s campus for Native American and Indigenous students and allies aiming to build a strong community. We also seek to increase visibility and awareness of our distinct cultures and the different experiences and challenges our communities face.

We host weekly gatherings amongst our group where we get to know each other, share food, plan upcoming events and actions, and talk about what’s going on in our lives.

We are so excited to be hosting our very first Pow Wow on Saturday May 7th, 2022 and to be in community with you all!

Head Staff

  • MC: Marin “Mark” Denning   |  Oneida/ Menominee
  • Arena Director: Mark LaRoque  |  Ojibwe
  • Head Dancer: Josee Starr  |  Arikara/Omaha/Odawa
  • Head Dancer: Niyo Moraza-Keeswood  |  Navajo/Chichimeca
  • Lead Eagle Staff & Color Guard: American Indian Center of Chicago Veterans Group
  • Host Drum: Indian Community School Eagle Singers
  • Invited Drums: RedLine, Little Priest, & Windy City


Welsh-Ryan Arena 
Address: 2705 Ashland Ave, Evanston, IL, 60208

Parking/Shuttle Service

  • Free Parking is available at the Welsh-Ryan Arena
  • A shuttle from campus to the Welsh-Ryan Arena will be available. Stops on campus are at the Jacobs Center (Sheridan and Foster) and outside Tech. Shuttle service will run from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Code of Conduct

  • This Pow Wow is a welcoming, inclusive, supportive and safe environment for all members of the Northwestern University community and beyond, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or gender expression/identity. 
  • In light of the purpose of a pow wow and alignment of NAISA values, we prohibit harassment including anti-blackness, anti-indigeneity, sexual violence, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and all other forms; it will not be tolerated. We also prohibit the use of alcohol and drugs at this event.
  • If you do not follow these expectations, you will be asked to leave.

Call for Vendors

We’re looking for vendors. Those interested in being a vendor at the Northwestern University Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance's 1st Annual Spring Pow Wow should complete this interest form.

This year's Pow Wow will take place on Saturday May 7th, 2022 at Welsh Ryan Arena (2705 Ashland Ave, Evanston, IL). Grand Entry will take place at noon, there will be a break from 2:30-3:30 pm, and then the pow wow will conclude at 5:00 pm.

We will let you know if you've been accepted as a vendor on a rolling basis. Booth spaces are free of cost.

Due to limited space, we may not be able to accept all vendors that apply. However, we will keep a waitlist if needed. The powwow committee will prioritize Indigenous vendors.

The deadline to submit an application is Friday, April 29th.

If you have any questions at all, please reach out to NAISA at

Vendors must comply with US Federal Public Law 101-64, known as the “Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990.


Call for Volunteers

Interested in supporting NAISA and the Native American and Indigenous campus community? Become a volunteer for the pow wow.

Fill out this form to let us know you are interested. for more information

Thank You to Our Sponsors

NAISA would like to extend a warm thank you to all of our Northwestern sponsors listed below. This Pow Wow would not be possible without their continued support.