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The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Powwow moved to Leede Arena

The 52nd annual Powwow, initially set to take place on the Green tomorrow, has been moved to Leede Arena.

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The 52nd annual Dartmouth Powwow — originally planned to occur on the Green — has been moved to Leede Arena, Native American Program director Adria Brown wrote in an email to Native American and Indigenous students. The Powwow will still be held Saturday, May 11, and grand entry will occur at noon, according to the event poster.

Brown wrote that the decision was made to “ensure that all students, families, alumni, elders and all are able to participate” in the event. According to past reporting by The Dartmouth, nine Native American students were arrested during the May 1 protest. Their bail conditions barred them from the Green, the Powwow’s initial location.

“This decision has been made with safety of all our and visiting communities in mind,” Brown wrote. “The Powwow brings together all of us and is a time in which we welcome and celebrate the diversity of our own cultures and traditions.”  

According to past reporting by The Dartmouth, students arrested on May 1 can file for temporary exceptions to their bail conditions. 

A Powwow Committee member arrested at the protest — who requested anonymity due to their ongoing case — wrote in an email statement that they were “one of the first students to file a motion with the court” but was unable to confirm with the Lebanon District Court that their motion had been granted. The anonymous student also wrote that they spoke with two people employed by the court on the phone, who were unable to find their arrest information, name, case number or motion.

“[The court employee] suggested that the police agency who arrested me have not shared my case with the court yet,” the anonymous student wrote.

Brown said that the decision to move the Powwow was decided after “consideration and input” from Native and Indigenous students and Powwow Committee leadership.

The Dartmouth Powwow –– currently the second largest powwow in the Northeast –– was first held in 1972 and has been held on the Green every year since 1995, according to the Native American Program website. Dartmouth’s Powwow is one of only five activities on campus that claim the Green as their “designated and permanent venue,” according to the website.

According to Brown’s email, John Sirois ’91 will hold a blessing and cleansing ceremony on the Green on Saturday morning.

Leede Arena, where the Powwow has been moved, is a 2,100 seat pavilion located within Berry Sports Center and host to the Dartmouth men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The anonymous student said they are “extremely relieved” that the event could be moved. 

“Not just so us who are banned from the Green can attend, but also because many Native students just don’t feel comfortable there anymore,” they wrote. “Powwow is such an important tradition and it feels like we’ve won our fight in having a place to collectively heal our community.”

The Powwow is free and open to all and will begin at 12 p.m. on May 11.