Indigenous Cultural Festival

Sept. 18 to 24, 2023

Join in the celebration of the Indigenous cultures of our region with week long programming opportunities leading up to the 44th Annual COTRAIC Powow on September 23 and 24. In addition to the mini Pow Wow at Schenley Plaza on September 20, there will be an Indigenous exhibit in the Pitt Global Hub throughout the week highlighting the Indigenous history and knowledge, as well a display at Hillman Library which will include books, multimedia, and special archives related to Indigenous narratives and culture.

Schedule of Events

Pitt and COTRAIC Mini Pow Wow

Pow Wows are a sacred social gathering held by many North American Indigenous communities to honor their cultures through song and dance. Join this public COTRAIC Pow Wow to celebrate the Indigenous peoples of our region and learn about Pow Wow etiquette!

Mini Pow Wow tentative schedule

Sept. 20, 2023
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Schenley Plaza

10 a.m. - Opening remarks

10:30 a.m. - Grand entry and opening dance

10:45 a.m. - Intertribal and social dancing

1 p.m. - Lunch break

2 p.m. - March to Schenley Plaza

2:45 p.m. - Intertribal and social dancing

6 p.m. - Closing remarks

COTRAIC's 44th Annual Pow Wow

Come and enjoy a glimpse of Native American heritage, competitive dancing, Native American cuisine and arts and crafts at this family-friendly event.

Pow Wows are social events—a good time to see old friends or make new ones. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and engage in conversation with vendors, dancers, singers and other Pow Wow participants.

University of Pittsburgh will provide free transportation for students from campus to the 43rd Annual Pow Wow. 

A bit about pow wows:

A pow wow is a form a celebration. A time that people can come together and talk and laugh and share our dancing and singing. There are Native American pow wows across the country and even in other parts of the world.  If you would like to learn more about the pow wows here some helpful links:

Using “pow wow” to refer generally to a social get-together or to a meeting for discussion is considered to be an offensive appropriation of a term of great cultural importance to Indigenous Americans. Here is an excellent piece explaining how the term pow wow and other phrases are offensive.

Upcoming Indigenous Cultural Events at Pitt