That message was shared by classmate Dakota Degenhardt ’26, who was a member of the Powwow scholar planning committee. Degenhardt, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Native Individuals, stated the occasion highlighted that Native individuals “are nonetheless right here and that our traditions are nonetheless occurring and are being handed down from era to era.”
“Powwows deliver individuals along with music, dance, meals, and pleasure,” she stated. “Our Powwow is centered round defending Indigenous futures.”
The Powwow additionally allowed college students like Alexander Bradley Canales, a graduate scholar on the Harvard Extension College and the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate College of Arts and Sciences, to reconnect with their Native roots. “This is essential for me to determine my identification inside the tribe that my household has very deep roots to,” he stated.
Canales’ household is initially from Valparaiso, Chile, and are Mapuche, an Araucanian individuals. They fought onerous to determine an American identification however at the moment are studying extra concerning the Mapuche and their Native language, he stated. Canales inspired others at Harvard studying about their Indigenous ancestry to let go of their worry and know that “we’re a welcoming neighborhood.”
“My hope for the Harvard Powwow is that it grows and that it turns into as robust because the Native neighborhood that’s already current right here, however that it additionally evokes college students to come back to Harvard and see there’s a vibrant and powerful Native neighborhood,” Wilkerson stated. “I hope that it could actually encourage college students to see that Harvard is a spot the place Native college students belong.”