Yuba Sutter Powwow 2021

Diana and I packed our bags and flew to the Yuba Sutter Powwow in Yuba City, CA for 7 Generation Games community outreach. (It was Diana‘s first time being to a powwow. I don’t think she knew what to expect!)

The Yuba Sutter Powwow had been organized to honor families. It included children’s culture workshops where kids could listen to stories and make and take their handcrafted jewelry, dolls, and animals. Meanwhile, the northern and southern host drum groups Red Hoop Singers and Aaron Bear & Company, respectively, were in attendance, leading the central songs of the powwow.

Things We Learned at the Powwow

  1. Powwows are a valuable place for cultural engagement and knowledge exchange within the community. You could meet many Indigenous people from all over North, Central, and South American and beyond.

2. Educators can gather primary sources for students at a powwow. Educational opportunities abound at each and every powwow, as each one is diverse and unique to every area. There are photo opportunities that you can leverage in your history and social studies class as primary sources (to show respect, ask permission each time before taking photos of anyone and anything, and check with the emcee of the powwow when photography is prohibited).

3. In addition to the usual arts and crafts booths, program outreach from entertainment to education to health and more. Youth and veteran-focused powwows offer opportunities for each age group.

4. Many powwows offer traditional foods packaged or made to order. Locations vary. (I’ve had the experience of having crab, clams, huckleberries, and salmon at the Muckleshoot Powwow and Stick Games in Auburn, WA.) Frybread or bannock is a staple at many powwows.

5. We got to know quite a good number of people who told us some really neat things about themselves and the work they do in education and for their tribes. This was eye-opening for both of us as each encounter held new chances to learn something new about Indigenous people and their history.

Everyone was gracious to each other and we were all in a good mood. We were really glad to attend Yuba Sutter Powwow.

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