Arts and Entertainment

American Indian Powwow returns April 5 and 6

The New Faces of an Ancient People Traditional American Indian Powwow ranks as one of the finest events of its kind. Credit: Patrick Mansell / Penn StateCreative Commons

BOALSBURG, Pa. — American Indian dancers and native drum groups from American Indian reservations and communities across North America and Canada will travel hundreds, some thousands, of miles to the greater State College, Pa., area for one of the finest traditional American Indian powwows in or outside of Indian Country.

The New Faces of an Ancient People Traditional American Indian Powwow will be held April 5 and 6 at the Mount Nittany Middle School in Boalsburg, Pa. This is the 11th and final year for the powwow.

“Everyone, native or non-native, is welcome and admission is free,” said powwow coordinator John Sanchez (Ndeh Apache), an associate professor in the department of journalism at Penn State. 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.

The powwow runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Grand Entry of Dancers begins at noon Saturday and is held again at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and at noon on Sunday. There will be a free shuttle to the powwow from the HUB-Robeson Center on Penn State’s University Park campus every 30 minutes beginning at 11 a.m. both days.

American Indian vendors from all over Indian Country, such as Cherokee, N.C., Albuquerque, N.M., and Pine Ridge, S.D., will sell native-made arts and crafts such as American Indian beadwork, quillwork, turquoise and silver. Native foods such as American Indian frybread, Indian corn soup and buffalo from the northern tribal nations also will be available for purchase. The powwow has kept the food prices the same since it started 11 years ago, to keep the the ability to try American Indian food affordable. 

This powwow had more than 6,000 visitors last year and has earned a national reputation as an excellent example of honoring family values and remembering American Indian traditions.

The powwow, sponsored jointly by Penn State and the State College Area School District, is free and open to the public, and families are encouraged to attend. Visit for more information.

Last Updated April 01, 2014