This entire month is a celebration of Native American heritage at the University of Northern Iowa. Dean WhiteBreast is a member of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi…also known as the Meskwaki. He says unlike the ethnic shows some people put on, native American Pow wows are a link between performers and their own heritage. WhiteBreast says when dancers put on all their regalia and get out there, they may have flashbacks…see a father, a grandparent and have a good feeling “you’re doing something to carry on what they have taught you.” WhiteBreast explains that there are several types of dances — ranging from the slow, purposeful memorial or honor dance, to the fast-paced and spectacular “fancy feather dance.” He says in his tribe, children are introduced to the traditions as toddlers. At a young age, he says they know how to maintain the culture and understand they must continue it. Among performers during the event were dancers from Haskell Indian Nation University, a school that began as an institution to teach agricultural skills to elementary students more than 120 years ago in Lawrence, Kansas. They wore traditional garb and brought along flute players, drummers, hoop dancers and other performers for their show.Native American Heritage Month continues throughout November with more special events at U-N-I as well as library displays and artifacts on exhibit at the Center for Multicultural Education.
You are here: / / Native American heritage celebrated at U-N-I