The First Nations American Indian Student Organization will host the 23rd Annual First Nations Fresno State Powwow from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 at O’Neill Park (Barstow and Woodrow avenues) with a new event planned the day before.

The “Native Family Education Gathering” will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday, April 11 at the Satellite Student Union and is open to youth in grades 6-12 and parents by registering free online. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided for those who register.

The theme of the Friday gathering is “Healing Our Future through Teaching Our Past.”

Participants can attend workshops on college prep, cultural demonstrations and powwow etiquette as well as take campus tours.

After the gathering’s traditional opening at 9:50 a.m., Fresno State President Joseph I Castro will deliver opening remarks at 10 a.m.

Mikela Jones, a member of the Little River Band of Pomo Indians located in Northern California, will deliver the morning keynote at 10:20 a.m. He is presently interim principal for the United Auburn Indian Community School outside of Sacramento.

Tom Phillips, who teaches in the California State University, Stanislaus Department of Social Work, will deliver the afternoon keynote at 3 p.m.  He is an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and of the Muscogee Creek Indian tribe.

The gathering is co-sponsored by the First Nations American Indian Student Organization, the Owens Valley Career Development Center, University Outreach Services, the Fresno State Title IV-E Child Welfare Program and Associated Students Inc.

The powwow on Saturday, which is also a free, family event, features the grand entry at 12:30 p.m. and includes traditional American Indian singing, dancing and guest presentations.

Native American arts and crafts vendors will also be featured. (Alcohol and drugs are prohibited, no pets please.)

For more information on the Friday gathering, contact Rena Picaso at 559.226.2880 ext. 461, or Julian Garza at ext. 504,

For more information on the Saturday powwow, contact Andres Fierro at 559.347.1600 or Miguel Aguilar at 559.259.0098,

(University Communications news assistant Ashlie Day contributed to this report).


Related links:

First Nations Indigenous Facebook

Associated Students Inc.

Owens Valley Career Development Center

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