It started out as a class project for the Tuba City Cohort of Northern Arizona University’s Social Work Program. The 21 students were looking for a grade. But then, obviously it became more. The resulting Pow Wow of April 8 and 9 was a howling success despite competing events elsewhere.
According to Marvin Sam, the pow wow didn’t come together over night. “In the beginning, it didn’t look too good. We didn’t know how it would turn out, but in the end it was very successful.”
The seven committee members from the Cohort were Marvin Sam, Darwin Whitstone, Nathaniel Nakenma, Chipper Bedonie, Loretta Goldtooth, Elsie Elthie and Charlene Ben. But Sam was quick to point out that each of the 21 students participated and contributed in their own way. For example, Whitstone served as the Master of Ceremonies. Other students served food, took money and tickets, and staffed different booths.
Other celebrities who were honored at the pow wow were NAU President Clara Lovett, Charlene Goodluck, Suzanna Maxwell, David McKell and Anne Medill of the School of Social Work, and Miss Indian World.
Two very special people to whom the Cohort is extremely grateful are Head Man Joe PoorThunder of Bellingham, Washington and Head Lady Fern SlimJohn of White Swan, Washington. “They came a long way and donated time and wonderful gifts to help us out,” Elthie explained.
She also thanked sponsors such as Grey Mountain Auto Connection, Jay’s Indian Arts, Dennis & Aletha Bowen. Her husband, Gary, helped out with technical support and sponsored the Tiny Tots events, gifting each child who danced with a dollar bill.
Sam would like to see this pow wow become an annual event. “I’m hoping to see this grow because all other universities have annual pow wows.”
This reporter seconds that motion.