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Powwow to make another grand entry
Photos and Story by James Hill
To have a successful powwow, you need a person like Christina Urenia.
She is a student leader with the Multicultural Center and the vendor coordinator for PCC’s Seventh Annual Winter Powwow, which is set to entertain on Saturday, Jan. 21. Starting at 1 p.m., Native-American drum groups and dancers from around the region will convene at the Sylvania Campus’s HT Building gymnasium, 12000 S.W. 49th Ave. Native-American craft vendors will be on hand to sell their wares, all thanks to Urenia.
"The most fun is the day of the powwow," said the second-year student, who spends much of the powwow checking in vendors and helping them with their needs. "After the rush of getting the vendors set up, you get that split second to take a break and look at the powwow. You feel really proud that you did something wonderful."
Urenia, who resides in Tigard, is right at home planning the powwow. The Los Angeles native’s background is part White Mountain, Apache and Seminole and she feels very proud to be a part of organizing one of PCC’s largest events.
"My favorite moment is the grand entries when all of the dancers come in," Urenia said. "They present the dancers and bless the arena. There is cultural enrichment, plenty of fun and good food at the powwow. It’s a good experience for anyone."
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the powwow, which will go late into the night. There will even be a College Fair, featuring numerous local colleges and universities, from noon to 5 p.m. Drum groups and dancers from Portland, Warm Springs, Klamath, Grand Ronde and Siletz, to name a few, will be the featured guests during the grand entries.
The event starts with the first grand entry at 1 p.m. and a second grand entry at 7 p.m. There will be a dinner, or community feed, at 5:30 p.m. The powwow is free and open to the public. Ruben Twin Jr. (Lakota in South Dakota) is the arena director; Arnold Little Head (Assinoboine) is master of ceremony; Crazy Horse Singers (Pine Ridge South Dakota) is host drum; and the Northwest Indian Veterans Association is the color guard. But the most important part of the powwow may be Urenia’s role in helping the vendors get set up.
"It’s very critical to the success of the powwow," said Claire Oliveros, Multicultural Center coordinator. "It not only generates revenue for the event but also supports Native American business. It’s so valuable to have that lifeline."
For more information, please call 503-977-4112.