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Native American Conference, Pow-Wow

UCR Hosts Native American Conference, Pow-Wow

The 30th annual Medicine Ways Conference May 14 aims to promote good health and lifestyles.

(May 4, 2011)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Two significant events that celebrate Native American culture will be held at the University of California, Riverside in May.

The 30th annual Medicine Ways Conference is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, and the 30th annual UCR Pow-Wow will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 27 and 28. Both events are free and open to the public. Parking costs $5 per day.

The Medicine Ways Conference brings together contemporary traditional leaders from across the United States to discuss how Native American medicine and ways of life can help everyone. The conference theme this year is “Healing Native Families and Communities” and focuses on the healing of Native families and communities by promoting good health and active lifestyles through the sweat lodge, storytelling and use of native plants in healing.

“We believe that by healing Native families we heal the community as well,” explained Joshua Gonzales, director of UCR Native American Student Programs. The programs office and the Native American Student Association organize both the conference and the pow-wow.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Highlander Union Building room 302. Continental breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.

Featured speakers include: Kenneth Coosewoon, Comanche, “Sweatlodge Healing and the Power of Prayer”; Georgiana Sanchez, Chumash, “Storytelling as a Tool for Healing”; and Willie Pink, Luiseno/Cupeno, “Southern California Traditional Plant Uses.”

Activity workshops include Native foods, dream catchers, gourds and diabetes health.

The annual UCR Pow-Wow – with the theme “Honoring Our Warriors” – opens on Friday, May 27, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and begins at 10 a.m.,Saturday, May 28, continuing until 10 p.m. at the UCR Sports Complex, 1000 Blaine St.

The event is an inter-tribal social gathering celebrating Native American culture and traditions through singing, drumming, and dancing. Traditional Native American dancers, drum groups, bird singers, and other artists will be present, and vendors will sell food, handmade Native American jewelry, arts and crafts, and other merchandise.

Both events are sponsored by the UCR Associated Students Program Board, Barona Band of Mission Indians, Cahuilla Casino, California Center for Native Nations, Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians, Native American Student Association, Native American Student Programs, Rupert Costo Endowment Chair, and Student Affairs Diversity Initiatives.

For more information call (951) 827-3850 or go to

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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