Program backs culture, traditions

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It was event filled with culture and education during the Adams 12 Five Star Schools Indian Education Pow Wow on Saturday.

The fourth annual pow wow commemorated and honored the tradition and culture of the district’s American Indian community, while also giving students the opportunity to think about their future with the addition of a college fair.

The American Indian Parent Advisory Committee, AIPAC, sponsors the pow wow every year. Felicia Alvarez, AIPAC member and pow wow coordinator, said the pow wow is an opportunity for native American students and families in the district to come together to celebrate their culture.

“The pow wow allows us to present our cultures and traditions in the right way with others in our district,” she said. “We are trying to have cultural activities for our native students in the district, but also bringing our community to the rest of the districts so that all the students and families can see our cultural aspects.”

Alvarez has been an AIPAC member for six years. she said it’s important to be involved in her native American community to keep her culture alive in her life and her children’s lives.

“We want to pass our culture down to our children because it’s really important to have that cultural connection,” she said. “It’s sometimes hard to keep that connection today, so being in AIPAC is really helpful.”

The pow wow featured a gourd dance, which is a southern tribal ceremonial dance, a men’s society dance, grass dancers, fancy dancers, traditional native American food and the college fair.

“The best part about the pow wow is seeing all of our tribes together,” Alvarez said. “We are all different, but we are all one big community.”