From New York City and Washington, D.C., to the smallest town in America, we all pause on July 4th for Independence Day celebrations to honor the founding and continued progress of life in the United States of America. All across America, attendees at these celebrations include Native Americans; however, in a recent Huffington Post article penned by Claire Fallon not only do the majority of non-Native Americans never attend any of the celebrations held by their Indian brothers and sisters, many don’t even realize these gatherings exist.

 

In the Native American culture, these gatherings are traditionally known as Pow Wows. Webster’s Dictionary defines “pow wow” as a social get-together.

 

To quote Ms. Fallon, “Native American culture isn’t in the past—it’s vibrantly in the present.” In the spring of 2016, Albuquerque, New Mexico was the venue for the 33rd Gathering of Nations. While attendees at this gala probably include some non-Native Americans, it is estimated that members of some 700 tribes from all across America and around the globe gathered to share singing, dancing, consuming tons of tasty foods and other cultural traditions with their non-Native American brothers and sisters.

 

Gathering of Nations first occurred in 1983 at the University of Albuquerque under the auspices of Derek Mathews whose overall goal was to apprise non-Native Americans as well as mankind around the globe that Native Americans are more than bare-chested men sporting feathers around their heads as depicted in the old American western film genre.

 

Categories: Native American Culture, Native American History