Community PowWow

AweomeStPaul is proud to announce our April 2023 grant winner-Community PowWow. Each year American Indian Magnet School on St.Paul’s Eastside hosts a PowWow to celebrate its students and faculty with traditional Native American Indian festivities. We chose this project because of its goal of bringing our community together.

According to Teacher Julie Hutcheson-Downwind, The American Indian Magnet School in St. Paul focuses on teaching all students through an American Indian cultural lens. In addition to academics and Indigenous languages, students also learn about drumming and dancing. At the end of the school year, the school hosts a powwow for students, their families, the staff, and the public.

Our school is located on the Eastside of St. Paul in Dayton's Bluff neighborhood. It is currently in its 32nd school year and has hosted a powwow each year. It is usually attended by 500-800 people in addition to the 500+ students and staff.

Our students learn about the history and culture of Indigenous people mainly the Ojibwe and Dakota, the prominent tribes in Minnesota. Every Friday students gather together as a school and participate in a drum and dance gathering to celebrate the end of a learning week. Students learn many dance steps and learn about Indigenous dance regalia. Those who wish are also instructed and participate in our school drum group.

Our school powwow is traditionally held in mid-June at the end of the school year. It is a one-day event. We invite families and the public to join us for dancing and celebrating. We also provide a meal and an honorarium for invited dancers and community drum groups.

Sadly, we are not able to use instructional funds for this event. Honorariums are different than contracted services and food is not allowed to be purchased with instructional funds. We ask for donations in order to put on this event each year.

It is very important to our school to be able to provide this cultural celebration at the end of the school year. We also honor our 8th-grade students who will be moving to high school, our students with outstanding attendance, and our teachers who have reached 25 years of service to AIMS. It is truly a community event attended by many families and community members year after year.

Funded by St. Paul, MN (April 2023)