Mother's Day Powwow celebrates milestone, award and tradition

Young dancer in regalia

The annual Mother’s Day Powwow at the University of Oregon has built a tradition that transcends many others on campus, and as it celebrates 50 years this May 11 through 13, there are many things to celebrate.

Mother's Day Weekend Powwow

Friday, May 11

10:30 a.m: Willamette Meteorite replica installation (Straub Hall)
1:30 p.m.: Blessing and Dedication of Kalapuya Ilihi Hall (adjacent to Longhouse)
3 p.m.: Reception and tours of Kalapuya Ilihi Hall
5:30 p.m.: Parade Line Up, Many Nations Longhouse (all welcome)
6 p.m.: Parade to McArthur Court
7 p.m.: Presentation of Oregon Heritage Tradition award (Mac Court)

Saturday, May 12

  Noon: Grand Entry
  5 p.m.: Lunch break
  7 p.m.: Evening Grand Entry

Sunday, May 13

Noon: Mother’s Day Salmon Feast, Many Nations Longhouse

Hosted by the Native American Student Union, the powwow will be honored with an Oregon Heritage Tradition designation from Oregon State Parks, one of only 19 across the state. 2018 is expected to represent the largest native presence on the UO campus in history.

“We are fortunate at the UO to have such a strong cohort of Native American student leaders, present and alumni,” said Jason Younker, assistant vice president and advisor to the president for sovereignty and government-to-government relations. “We all share in the success of this incredible event and milestone.”

“The Oregon Heritage Commission voted unanimously to designate the University of Oregon’s Mother’s Day Powwow an official Oregon Heritage Tradition,” said Todd Kepple, heritage commission chair. “This event is a great illustration of Oregon students developing a tradition to build community and cultural exchange on and off campus. It illustrates the role and legacy of native peoples in shaping the culture of the state of Oregon. We are thrilled to award the designation.”

In addition to the designation and other traditional activities, the powwow will include a blessing and dedication of the recently opened Kalapuya Ilihi residence hall, which became home to hundreds of UO students in September.

“With the dedication and blessing of Kalapuya Ilihi Hall, the first college residence hall to be named after Oregon’s first peoples, this will be a very special weekend for everyone,” Younker said.

The awarding of the Oregon Heritage Tradition designation award will take place during the grand entry at UO’s McArthur Court at 7 p.m. May 11. The weekend features a variety of events, including the installation of the Willamette Meteorite replica and tours of Kalapuya Ilihi Hall, as well as the annual parade that leads to the grand opening.