Campus: Humboldt State University -- December 14, 2004

No HSU PowWow in 2005

The Humboldt State University PowWow – an annual two-day celebration of American Indian dancing, drumming and culture – will not be held this coming spring due to budget cuts and declining external support, university officials announced today.

Begun 16 years ago and organized by a group of volunteers, the event grew to attract as many as 5,000 visitors and participants representing dozens of tribes. While originally a student-run effort, the PowWow has long been supported with key administrative and advising support from HSU's Indian Natural Resources, Sciences and Engineering Program (INRSEP).

“The decision to abandon plans for the PowWow this year was a very difficult one, and it came after much deliberation and discussion,” said Jim Howard, dean of HSU's College of Natural Resources and Sciences, which includes INRSEP. “Events such as this require tremendous collective effort and support. They are valuable because they bring communities together to celebrate our cultural diversity and build understanding. PowWow, no doubt, has also made many individuals aware of HSU’s array of programs that support Native Americans in higher education.”

Following successive years of budget cuts, costs for the 2005 PowWow would have far exceeded their usual level of about $25,000 because the university can no longer absorb the costs of services it previously provided. Declines in available staff, fund-raising support and volunteerism were also factors contributing to the cancellation of the event, according to Dean Howard.

“We are hopeful our budget and staffing will improve in the future and that important cultural events like the PowWow will resume,” said Howard. “We are currently conducting a national search for a new director for INRSEP to start to rebuild our former capacities. HSU will continue its legacy of long-standing commitment to Native Americans through its array of strong academic and support programs.”

Those programs include the Indian Teacher and Education Personnel Program, the Department of Native American Studies, American Indian College Motivation Day, the Center for Indian Community Development and INRSEP.

HSU College of Natural Resources and Sciences Contact:
Dr. James H. Howard, Dean
(707) 826-3256,

Contacts: Sean J. Kearns, (707) 826-5151,
Dr. James H. Howard, Dean, (707) 826-3256,

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