Welcome to the website for the 44th annual UC Davis Powwow!

Please join us for the 2016 Powwow on Saturday April 9th 10am to 10pm. The Powwow takes place on the East and West Quad of the UC Davis campus. FREE and open to the public. Powwow may be cancelled due to rain.

2nd Annual Indigenous Arts Market

10:00am - 5:00pm
East & West Quad

Our Arts Market features 30 authentic Native and Indigenous Arts and Crafts Vendors, food, and live performances from student organization dance groups.

Indigenous Arts Market flyer

General Powwow Information

  • Saturday April 9th 2016

  • 10am to 10pm

  • Grand entry: 12 noon

  • Location: UC Davis Campus Outdoor East and West Quad



This community gathering is made possible by the generous support and backing of American Indian Recruitment and Retention, SRRC, Native American Student Union, UC Davis Native American Studies Department, Native American Faculty and Staff Association, UC Davis Student Affairs, UC Davis Music Department, ASUCD and the American River College Anthropology Club.

Powwow flyer

Interested in being a vendor?

If you would like to vend for a non-profit organization, please fill out our Non-Profit Vendor application.

If you are interested in being a Food Vendor, please fill out our Food Vendor application.

If you are interested in being a Non-Food Vendor, please fill out our Non-Food Vendor application.

All applications should be emailed to Daniel Cardenas at djcardenas@ucdavis.edu. Thank you!


***The CCC is committed to providing an accessible and welcoming environment for elders, community members, students, faculty and staff. To request accommodations to participate in powwow, please contact Daniel Cardenas at 530-752-4057 or djcardenas@ucdavis.edu at least 2 weeks prior to the event.***

Powwow celebrates the traditions and contributions of Indigenous people and cultures. The powwow creates a space on the UC Davis campus for Native American music, dance, Native voices, art and culture to be vibrantly visible. It provides opportunities for the campus and local Native community to build connections to address the social, cultural, historical and political issues facing Indigenous people. Powwow educates our UC Davis campus and larger community about the diverse cultural elements that comprise and contribute to our society. It promoted cross-cultural communication and alliances by providing opportunities for community and leadership experiences and development for the student community at UC Davis. The Davis powwow presents speakers, workshops, seminars, art exhibits, performing artists, films, receptions, cultural ceremonies and educates and empowers youth through outreach conferences.

Created in 1969, the first UC Davis Powwow was hosted in conjunction with the creation of the Native American Studies Department. In the years to follow, the powwow has been the culminating event for the Native American Culture Days events and programs.

The UC Davis powwow is a nationally recognized event that has benefited the campus since its inception and continues to be the premier cultural event for Native Americans and Indigenous peoples in the surrounding local community. Our powwow has hosted and showcased vendors, dancers, judges, head staff, drum groups and attendees from not only all over California but all throughout Indian Country.

The powwow provides an opportunity for many Native American youth, families and community members to join UC Davis in celebration of our cultural traditions and practices. It has served as an excellent recruitment event for prospective undergraduate and graduate students and retention tool for Native students currently enrolled at UC Davis. For some community members the UC Davis powwow may be their first experience on a college campus where they get to see there is a strong Native American presence and community on campus.

Davis students who are involved with the planning of the powwow are able to maintain their roots and build a stronger connection to their identity while navigating their experience as an Indigenous scholar in a Western educational institution. The UC Davis student organized and run powwow is one of the longest running student powwows in California.


Please feel free to contact Daniel Cardenas at 530-752-4057 or djcardenas@ucdavis.edu

Basic Powwow Etiquette

Welcome! We’re glad you’ve taken an interest in learning basic Powwow etiquette. Positive and respectful behavior will ensure a good and welcoming environment at the Powwow for all who attend. Our Powwow is open to all dancers and people. The last thing we want is for dancers and visitors to have a negative experience. We want everyone to feel welcome and take part in our 44th Annual UC Davis Powwow.

Below are some basic do’s and do not’s that will help make the most out of your Powwow experience:

Listen to the Emcee (MC)

The MC will let you know the protocol for each dance, keep you entertained, and be the go to person for any questions. The MC will clarify if you are uncertain of procedure or etiquette. Please note that the Arena Director, and organizing Powwow Committee Members will also gladly help you with any and all questions or concerns.

Use correct terminology

The clothing the dancers wear is called regalia, NOT costumes.

Do NOT take pictures without asking for permission

Always ask participants prior to taking their picture or recording them.This can be a very sensitive issue and may make some dancers uncomfortable. Photographs taken of dancers without their permission have historically been sold, marketed and exploited for profit. Please do not engage in this type of activity. The Emcee will let you know if and when photography is allowed or not allowed at the powwow.

Please be respectful of the dancer's regalia

Do not touch the dancer’s regalia without permission. From their clothing to their jewelry and accessories, many of these items may be ancient family heirlooms. They are fragile, sacred, and irreplaceable. If a dancer drops any piece or part of their regalia, do not pick it up, please notify the powwow staff for assistance.

Do not touch or pick up a fallen Eagle Feather

If you find a fallen Eagle Feather, do not touch it or pick it up – a special ceremony will need to be performed. Notify a member of the powwow staff immediately. Please note that photographing or recording the ceremony for recovering a fallen Eagle Feather is strictly forbidden.

Please show respect for special songs

It is customary to stand quietly and remove your hat when special songs are played such as the Grand Entry, Flag Songs, Veteran Songs, Memorial Songs, and Prayer Songs. Make sure to listen to the Emcee as they will announce these songs and any others that require a special level of respect.

Do NOT record songs without permission

All tape recordings must be done with the permission of the Master of Ceremonies and the Lead Singer.

Respect the Drum

Only those with permission of the Lead Singer may sit at the Drum. Maintain a respectful distance from the drum arbor. Never touch a drum unless given permission by the Head Singer.

Please do not point

Use your eyes to direct attention to a specific person or area, or give a nod of the head.

Please respect Mother Earth

Care and respect of the sacred circle extends, not only to respecting the arena, sacred objects and other dancers, but to the whole atmosphere, the ground themselves. Keeping the powwow Grounds clean is everyone's responsibility. Be responsible and discard waste in designated containers. A clean powwow is a respected powwow.

Be polite and aware of where you set up your chair

Guests typically set up their seating area behind the performers or designated seating area. Please do not sit in sections that are reserved for elders or drummers/singers.

Respect the sacred circle

After the blessing, the arena dance circle is considered sacred. Visitors should not enter the circle uninvited and children should be supervised and not allowed to run in or around the circle. Do not permit your children to enter the dancing circle unless they are dancing. Please do not walk across the arena dance circle after it has been blessed. At no time should pets be allowed in the dance arena. Only on certain occasions will a service animal be permitted in the arena with permission of the Emcee, or Arena Director.

Do join in the social dances and have fun

When invited by the emcee or performers, visitors may participate in some social and intertribal dances (the two Step, Blanket Dance, Honoring Songs, etc.). During these dances, you are welcome to join in and dance your heart out, but when not dancing, please be respectful and exit the circle accordingly.

Drugs, alcohol, and smoking are forbidden

Please refrain from this type of activity at the powwow and while on UC Davis grounds.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding proper etiquette feel free to contact the powwow committee at powwow@ucdavis.edu.

Native American Culture Days

Monday, April 4th - Friday, April 8th

Native American Culture Days calendar

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Sunrise Ceremony
Join us for a beautiful sunrise as we start NACD with song, prayer, and reflection for the week.
6:20 - 7:00am
East Quad

Tribal Agriculture Movement: Locally and Nationally
With Keir Johnson, Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) and Representation from IAC Pacific Region Internship Program Come learn about the nationally renowned Intertribal Agriculture Council and its current and historic efforts to further Tribal natural resource management and agriculture goals among its 562 member Tribes, Bands, Pueblos, and Rancherias. Those interested in land management, conservation, food sovereignty, and/or traditional agriculture are encouraged attend.
10:00 - 11:30am
Meeting Room D in the Student Community Center

Native American Studies in the 21st Century
With the UC Davis Department of Native American Studies Come and join several UC Davis Native American Studies faculty as they discuss the contemporary issues facing the expansive field of Native and Indigenous Studies. This will be a space to engage UC Davis faculty with their respective field of research and scholarly work.
11:30am - 1:00pm
Hart Hall 3201, The David Risling Room

NAS 034 Drum Workshop
This two-day Native American Hand Drum Workshop is hosted by the Department of Native American Studies NAS 032, and the Cross Cultural Center. We welcome Rebecca “Maggie” Magdalena Escobedo-Stelle (Chiricahua Apache, Li Pa Henne, and Chicana) to lead us in the workshop. Drum kit materials are provided at no cost. Registration is required!
1:00 - 3:00pm
Student Community Center Multipurpose Room

A Celebration of Spring: Piñata Building
With Jacquelyn RossJoin us for building and decorating 2-3 group project piñatas quickly this evening. You will learn some technique and have fun. Wheat flour will be used; wear washable clothes and flat, cleanable shoes. It is okay to participate for part of the time.
4:00 - 7:00pm
Student Community Center Multipurpose Room

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Feeding the People
Native community/family cooks will discuss considerations of health, tradition, and adaptation in food preparation for tribal events while showcasing a sampler of dishes. Participants are invited to share stories and traditions. Limit: 50 people.
10:00am - 12:00pm
Meeting Room D in the Student Community Center

Applying Our Knowledge to Our Community
Facilitated by the UC Davis Director of Native Strategic Retention Initiatives, Michelle Villegas-Frazier, come learn about unique, directed programs for Native American students and how to target experiences to explore and tailor your health interests to your needs and those of tribal communities.
12:00 - 1:00pm
Meeting Room A in the Student Community Center

Language and Cultural Pedagogies
Vince Medina (Chochenyo-Ohlone) joins Dennis Mahler (UC Extension) and Lina Reznicek-Parrado (Department of Spanish and Portuguese) in a discussion of the intimate connection between language and culture. Co-sponsored by the Davis Language Center and the Native American Language Center.
3:00 - 5:00pm
Olson Hall 53a

Threads of Resilience: Strength in Our Stories
Join us as we discuss the threads of resilience in our stories. Participants will learn about the power of stories as a tool for re-membrance and healing. Dinner will be provided.
7:00 - 8:00pm
Meeting Room E in the Student Community Center

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

California Tribal College: Empowering our Communities through Tribally-Controlled Education
Come learn about the California Tribal College and how it is progressing along in its development. Find out how you can support the California Tribal College and join the effort!
12pm - 1:00pm
Meeting Room D in the Student Community Center

NAS 034 Drum Workshop
Part two of this two-part workshop. Registration, and attendance to part one required!
1:00 - 2:30pm
Student Community Center Multipurpose Room

Majoring in Native American Studies
Have you ever wondered what it means to means to major in Native American Studies? Come and learn about this one of kind major and department by the two NAS Peer Advisors as they discuss major/minor requirements and research, internship, and employment opportunities!
3:00 - 4:00pm
Hart Hall 3201, The David Risling Room

The Power of the Gourd by AIRR
Join us to learn about the indigenous meaning and uses behind GOURDS. We will be discussing the multitude of ways indigenous communities use gourds while painting one to take home and enjoy.
5:00 - 6:00pm
Meeting Room E in the Student Community Center

Xicana, Latina, and Indigenous Women opening the doors to the Four Directions: Plática with visionary writers of Fleshing the Spirit
This plática will be a collective space where participants can engage in dialogue with some of the contributors of the groundbreaking anthology, Fleshing the Spirit: Spirituality and Activism in Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous Women’s Lives. A conversation about Indigenous spirituality, creative and critical writing as prayer, and ceremonial practices as activism will be centered.
6:00 - 8:00pm
Meeting Room D in the Student Community Center

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Rebel Music - The 7th Generation Rises
Come ready to both watch and participate! First, attendees will watch the show Rebel Music: Native America: 7th Generation Rises, exploring the lives of young people who are using their art and music to ignite social and political change around the world. Then a community dialogue about the episode will be lead by Dr Leal (Esselen & Ohone, and UCD alumni) including the power of music to elevate voices.
12:00 - 2:00pm
Meeting Room D in the Student Community Center

Native Business and Non-profit Ventures
Facilitated by Indigenous Warrior Enterprise. This workshop discusses Small Business Development and Non-profit Structure for Native Individuals and organizations. Participants will also be led through a mini workshop on a one page business plan presented by Richard L. Ragudo Jr.
2:00 - 4:00pm
Meeting Room E in the Student Community Center

Threading connection: a conversation on queer indigenous experience
Facilitated by sarah biscarra dilley (Chumash/Chicana). Part sewing circle and part Talking Circle, this interactive workshop will center the complex and varied experiences of Native American and Indigenous LGBTQI2-S participants in the contemporary moment and how this relates to our past and future. No serious sewing experience necessary, just a willingness to learn and share! Space limited to 20 participants.
5:00 - 7:30pm
Student Community Center Multipurpose Room

Friday, April 8th, 2016

(re)Claiming Indigenous Space in the Academy: Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Alliance
Hosted by the Native American Studies Student Association. This colloquium is open to Native American public, faculty allies and fellow graduate students in order to explore issues and aspects of Native American Studies through sharing pedagogies, support, networks, reclaiming histories and identities and acknowledging the Patwin Peoples by holding this talking circle within the contemplative garden.
10:00am - 12:00pm
Patwin Contemplative Garden - UC Davis Arboretum

Keep it in the Ground: The Saparas Struggle to Survive Big Oil
Indigenous people in the Amazon are crying out for help as governments allow oil companies to invade and pollute their land. We are all affected, and we can all help.
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Meeting Room C in the Student Community Center

Catch Your Dreams
Join Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority and the NAS department to learn about some different styles and history of Native Art. Let us gather to make simple dream-catchers and expose its true significance in the Native Community.
5:30 - 7:30pm
Meeting Room D in the Student Community Center

Sunset Ceremony
Join us for a celebration and reflection of the week's events and looking forward for the prosperous times ahead.
East Quad

2nd Annual Indigenous Arts Market
Our Arts Market features 30 authentic Native and Indigenous Arts and Crafts Vendors, food, and live performances from student organization dance groups.
East & West Quad

NACD provides opportunities for campus and local Native communities to build connections to address social, cultural, historical and political issues Indigenous communities face. Native American Culture Days honors the cultures, traditions, contributions and hemispheric unity of Indgenous people of the Americas.

NACD and Powwow are programs of the Cross Cultural Center, funded by ASUCD, Office of Campus Community Relations, Student Affairs and partnerships with campus and community organizations. The Planning Committee is composed of student leaders of NASU, AIRR (American Indian Recruitment and Retention) and the CCC. The NACD and Powwow Student Coordinators facilitate weekly meetings. NACD and Powwow are possible thanks to collaborative partnerships with faculty, staff, departments, alumni, student organizations, and off-campus groups that enhance and support the overall program and build positive connections with a wide range of individuals and groups.

Program Coordinator Daniel
Daniel Cardenas
Program Coordinator
Phone: (530) 752-4057
Student Coordinator Carson
Carson Moss
Powwow Coordinator
Office hours: M: 3-5pm | T: 9am-1:30pm
Student Coordinator Val
Valentin (Val) Sierra
Native American Culture Days Coordinator
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