58th annual Hozhoni Days at FLC

FLC’s longest-running cultural celebration and premier spring event is Hozhoni Days, made up of the Hozhoni Days Powwow and Hozhoni Ambassador Exhibition. The Powwow, or "Days of Beauty," is a two-day event of scholarship exhibit, powwow, arts & crafts market, and celebration of cultures.

Ambassador Exhibition

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Hozhoni Ambassador Scholarship Exhibition, formerly known as the Ms. Hozhoni Pageant, is a contest of public speaking and presentations. The person holding the Hozhoni Ambassador title is the ambassador of Wanbli Ota and the FLC Indigenous community.

Hozhoni Days Powwow

Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Hozhoni Days Powwow is a multi-day celebration of our vibrant Indigenous community at FLC. Dancers and singers from all over the United States participate in the Hozhoni Days Powwow.

Attending the Hozhoni Days Powwow

Dance Contest categories
Maps & parking

Hozhoni Days history

Hozhoni Days date back to 1966, when the Shalako Indian Club, an early incarnation of today's Wanbli Ota student organization, turned a small on-campus event into a full-blown celebration and renamed the multi-day event "Hozhoni Days." Over the years, the Hozhoni Days powwow grew into a large, two-day contest powwow. 

The "Father of Hozhoni Days"

The title "Hozhoni Days" was bestowed by Clyde Benally, now known as "the Father of Hozhoni Days." Benally was a first-year student when FLC's Deans asked him to help make the Shalako Club more active, which he did by creating Hozhoni Days. "It was to have the students work together, so they get to know each other, and to share their Native culture, and to showcase it to the total student body on campus," said Benally, who graduated in 1968 with a degree in Humanities.

Benally chose the title "Hozhoni," a Navajo term roughly meaning "beauty" that also alludes to a more profound sense of harmony and balance, because it represented the event's goals. "It was the showing and sharing of our culture with each other and a way of developing brotherhood and sisterhood with other students who may be from different cultures."

Hozhoni Day dancers and flag bearers at Fort Lewis College.

Wanbli Ota student organization

The Shalako Indian Club's name changed in the 1970s to Wambidiota Club, eventually taking on the present moniker, Wanbli Ota -- meaning "many eagles" in the Lakota language -- in 1991. Wanbli Ota is a registered student organization and remains the prime sponsor of Hozhoni Days. It also puts on events, including public presentations, speakers and artists, workshops, and cultural performances.

View more Wanbli Ota events

Wanbli Ota logo

Contact us

Native American Center

Phone: 970-247-7221
Email: nativeamericancenter@fortlewis.edu

Vendor check-in and day-of-event

Lisa Cate
Email: lscate@fortlewis.edu
Phone: 970-247-7221