Pomona College is hosting a Community Engagement and Sustainability Powwow on Saturday, March 30, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Walker Beach (650 N. College Way, Claremont). The Powwow is sponsored by the Draper Center for Community Partnerships and is open to the community.

The Powwow will include local Native American community members, including representatives of the Gabrielino Tongva, whose land Pomona College is located on, and other local and statewide tribes. The day will be filled with a wide variety of Native cultural experiences, including drumming performances and traditional Native American dances. Several Native vendors of artisanal products like jewelry, pottery and food will be displaying and selling their items. World-champion hoop dancer Terry Goedel (Yakima, Tulalip) will provide a special dance exhibition at the Powwow. There will also be a raffle, cake walk and canned food drive.

"As you know, the Draper Center embodies the longstanding vision of Pomona College to support learning through partnership, collaboration, and change-making in our local communities," says Scott Scoggins, community scholar in residence at the Draper Center. "The Powwow is just another example of collaborating with, and opening up, Pomona College to the local community."

Scoggins says he was approached by Tongva Elder Julia Bogany about the idea of the powwow as she wanted to increase awareness of Native issues and culture at the Claremont Colleges. She will attend the Powwow, as well as U.S. Acjachemen Elder Jimi Castillo, who will do an invocation and blessing at the beginning of the Powwow.  Michael Reifel (San Carlos Apache) will serve as master of ceremonies.

The College has recently made commitments to reach out to local Native American communities through events like this one and last fall's Native American Opening Ceremony and Scoggins' position at the Draper Center. Scoggins is also Native American Program Coordinator at Pitzer College, where he implements multicultural programs to motivate and inspire youth to pursue higher education and educates non-Native communities on traditional cultures and protocol. At Pomona, he provides opportunities for faculty, staff and students to work alongside our local Native American community.

"This will be the first Powwow at the Claremont Colleges ever, and it is really a big deal," says Scoggins. "It is a big step on behalf of Pomona College to start making the Claremont Colleges more open and accessible to our Native community, and hopefully, Native students interested in attending Pomona College."

The Powwow is collaboration between The Draper Center, First Women 1st Tuesday/Wednesday Around the Fire, St. Michael's Ministries and The Indigenous Student Alliance (ISA).