Bowdoin Powwow

Thank you for attending! 


Bowdoin powwow poster

Aanii, ‘Siyo!

Dear Bowdoin Community,

We are so excited to extend an invitation to our inaugural powwow on Saturday May 4, 2024. We, Sarah (Ashkenazi/Anishinaabe) and Kailey ’14 (Cherokee Nation), have been working in collaboration with the Native American Student Association (NASA) students, the office of inclusion and diversity (OID) and several of you to help make this event a reality. 

A powwow is a community celebration that is open to all walks of life. It is a time to connect; a time to celebrate; to come together in ceremony; and to honor traditions that have been passed on through generations with dancing, singing, and drumming. All are welcome to attend. And we look forward to hosting you, the local Brunswick community, and Bowdoin alumni for this historic event. 

We are humbled by the response from the local tribes in Maine and look forward to helping strengthen these ties—but most importantly, welcoming them to campus in a new and powerful way.

If you are interested in volunteering for all or part of the day, please reach out to Hope to see you at the Quad on May 4th! 

Sarah Podemski and Kailey Bennett ’14

Powwow Etiquette

Powwows are amazing. They are also new for a lot of people. What follows are some things to keep in mind to both honor the tradition and the participants and to make sure that all involved have an incredible time. We are inviting members of the Native community to campus to enjoy a beautiful Saturday and one way we can help make that happen is to be thoughtful about our actions during the event. Thank you for your consideration!

The word of the day for this powwow is respect. Treating the event and the participants with respect can be shown by following some of the following guidelines. When in doubt please check in with a volunteer. There will be numerous people available to share if you have questions.

The basics of that respect start with the Powwow Circle. Everything revolves around the circle at a Powwow. Please do not cross through it at any time and if you need to go to a different area please always walk around the circle. 


Please keep in mind that creating traditional regalia is a labor of love and it is worn with great pride. Please do not touch anyone’s regalia. Please do not refer to it as a costume. Similarly, the hairstyles for the event are created with great care and do not touch them without permission. Likewise, please ask permission before taking any photos of participants while wearing regalia. 


Drums and singing play an integral role in the Powwow. Please do not interrupt the groups as they are singing.

Honoring Veterans

One of the traditional pieces of a Powwow is showing respect for veterans of the military. There will a song honoring veterans and please be sure to follow the instructions, remove hats, and refrain from photography during it.

Honoring Elders

If you see an elder without a place to sit, please offer your seat or offer assistance in helping them find a seat.

Intertribal Dances

You will see many different styles of dance at this Powwow. An intertribal is a song where everyone is welcome to participate in the circle and dance together. Please follow the lead of the dancers and move in the circle clockwise.

General Decorum

Our expectation is that there be absolutely no alcohol present at the Powwow and no drugs. As much fun as we expect to have, this is a ceremony as well and should be treated as such. Please stand when you are instructed if you are able, please remove head coverings when requested, and please be thoughtful about the impact of stray comments or words that might make someone feel unwelcome.