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Hozhoni Days celebrates Native culture and heritage at Fort Lewis College
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Hozhoni Days celebrates Native culture and heritage at Fort Lewis College

Since its inception in the 1960s, the Hozhoni Days Powwow has grown to become one of Fort Lewis College’s biggest and most distinctive events. Each spring, thousands of visitors fill Whalen Gym for two days to take part in the Powwow’s activities. 

For 2018, the Hozhoni Days Powwow will be April 13-14. The Grand Entry will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, preceded by the Gourd Dance at 5 p.m. On Saturday, there will be a Gourd Dance at 11 a.m. followed by Grand Entry at 1 p.m. A second Gourd Dance will take place at 5 p.m., with a second Grand Entry at 7 p.m. Saturday will also see the next Ms. Hozhoni crowned. Chosen each year, Ms. Hozhoni is the ambassador for the FLC Native community. Powwow admission is $6 per day, with those under 6 years old or over 60 getting in free.

The Powwow will feature dance and drum contests for men and women of all ages. The Head Staff include: Blackfoot Confederacy (Northern Host Drum), Southern Style (Southern Host Drum), Aaron Denny WhiteThunder (Head Man), Lizzie Hardin (Head Woman), Erny Zah (MC), Leon Wheeler (Arena Director), Bruce Leclaire (Head Judge), and Leo Dayish (Head Gourd).

Hozhoni means “beauty” in Navajo, and the name Hozhoni Days was created by FLC alumnus Clyde Benally. It was Clyde and the Shalako Indian Club (forerunner of the present-day Wanbli Ota student organization) who created Hozhoni Days in 1966. Though the Hozhoni Days name is Navajo, the event is a celebration of all Native peoples who call Fort Lewis College home.

Discounted lodging for the Hozhoni Days Powwow is available at the Best Western Durango Inn & Suites. For more information on the Hozhoni Days activities, visit www.fortlewis.edu/hozhoni-days-powwow or contact Lisa Cate at 970-247-7221.

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