CORVALLIS - Oregon State University is offering a chance to learn about traditions and tribes of native America at the campus' first-ever Native American Education Week, May 15-21.
Among the events scheduled are a two-day Pow-Wow, a two-day Sacred Landscapes conference, as well as movies and a fun run. All activities are open to the public and many are free. For information, contact the OSU Indian Education Office at 541-737-4383.
"All of these events are an excellent opportunity to learn more about the many diverse traditions and tribes of Native America," said Nichole Maher, one of the event's coordinators.
Opening ceremonies are set at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 15, in OSU's Native American Longhouse and will include a speaker from one of Oregon's tribal communities, as well as a hosted reception.
On Tuesday, May 16, the 1993 award-winning 60-minute documentary, "The Peyote Road," will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in OSU Memorial Union Room 211. "The Peyote Road" addresses the U.S. Supreme Court "Smith" decision, which denied protection of First Amendment religious liberty to the sacramental use of peyote and focuses on the view that the decision put religious freedom in jeopardy for all Americans. The film is credited with aiding passage of the 1994 amendment to The American Indian Religious Freedom Act.
Native Night starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, in the MU Ballroom. The event features foods and entertainment. For ticket information, contact the Longhouse at 541-737-2738.
Several hundred Oregon tribal members are expected to attend OSU's second annual "Sacred Landscapes" conference on May 18-19 to talk about the environment. Keynote speaker at the conference, which is free and open to the public, is Winona LaDuke, an activist who lives on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.
LaDuke, who once served as the vice presidential running mate for Ralph Nader, will speak on "All Our Relations" and read from her book of the same title. LaDuke's talk begins at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, in LaSells Stewart Center. More information is available by calling the Department of Ethnic Studies at OSU at 541-737-0709.
The Jim Thorpe Fun Run - 5 or 10K - starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 20 at the Native American Longhouse. The run is free.
The free 24th Annual OSU Spring Pow-Wow starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, in Gill Coliseum with grand entry. The grand entry is the featured dance of a Pow-Wow, used to bring in the dancers.
The OSU Pow-Wow brings together members of different tribes to socialize, compete in drumming and dancing, visit with friends, and celebrate shared and individual tribal cultures, said Linda Paschke of OSU Student Involvement. Performers will demonstrate their skills as artisans and entertainers and display their cultural wear in numerous performances.
Activities will close with a free dinner at 5 p.m. and then start up again at 7 p.m. and continue until midnight. The Pow-Wow resumes at noon on Sunday, May 21 and finishes up at 6 p.m.
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Nichole Maher, 541-737-4383