|Students get a lesson in culture at Black Hills Pow Wow|
|Friday, 05 October 2012 16:16|
"It's reaching out to people who are a little bit different, that don't come from the same backgrounds, to bring people together." That's the spirit behind 'Youth Day' at the Black Hills Pow Wow. Coordinators say based on centuries of tradition the pow wow has strong ties to the celebration of youth in Native American culture and that's what makes it the perfect medium for delivering the message of diversity.
Pow wow keynote speaker Brandon Yellow Robe says, "Whether it was a good harvest that year or bringing in food in a traditional setting, or whether it was the birth of a child, every child was celebrated in our culture and in that setting. To be able to bring together people to celebrate something is always a beautiful thing." And Friday it wasn't just one child but thousands. Yellow Robe says when 'Youth Day' was first incorporated into the Black Hills Pow Wow only 7 children were in attendance. Almost 3,000 Rapid City area students took part in the event and the school district says the pow wow serves a critical role for the district.
RCAS Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mitchell says, The research is very clear, that if you have a minority population of different types of minorities, one of the things is, they have to feel comfortable in your school and one of the ways to feel comfortable is, they see that all cultures, including their cultures and their languages are all being celebrated in the district." And it's through this celebration of diversity the tradition of the Native American pow wow is trying to create a bridge between cultures and coordinators say they hope each student in attendance leaves with a better understanding of the Native American Culture.