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Fancy Shawl Dancers, P.A.A.W. Powwow, San Jose CA

Becky Olvera Schultz Interviewed for Voice of Amerca News Article

I was honored to be one of the people interviewed by Cecily Hilleary for an article on powwows for Voice of America News, an international multimedia broadcaster with service in more than 40 languages, serving a weekly global audience of 236.6 million. VOA provides news, information, and cultural programming through the Internet, mobile and social media, radio, and television. VOA is funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. I was also pleased that Cecily used one of my powwow dancers photos in her article.

Here’s a portion of the article:

It’s pow wow season in the United States, a time when Native American nations, bands and tribes gather to connect, celebrate tribal histories and cultures, and express their patriotism. On any given weekend this summer, a pow wow is taking place somewhere in the country, an expression of unity within and between Native communities.

“Pow wow” derives from an old Algonquian word that referred to a gathering of spiritual healers celebrating successful hunts, battles or trade. In 1883, the government banned “old heathenish dances,” worried they would “stimulate the warlike passions” of tribal youth.

Tribes found ways around the ban, which was lifted in the 1930s. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of northwest Montana held pow wows as Fourth of July celebrations. Other tribes held pow wows as cultural displays for non-Natives.

Read the entire article at