Every part of preparing for the 25th annual Harvard Powwow was personal for Kabl Wilkerson.
The third year Ph.D. candidate and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation learned what it meant to be Native from their grandmother Mary Ruth, an artist who helped raise them. After her death a year ago, Wilkerson spent their spare time crafting regalia and learning to dance the men’s woodlands style at powwows to honor her memory.
“She was somebody who fought really hard for us to be Potawatomi. She was proud of who she was and helped teach me who I was, and for that I miss her every day,” Wilkerson said.
Three years after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a hiatus, the Powwow returned to campus last Saturday to allow students like Wilkerson to honor their families, connect with other Indigenous communities, and reconnect with their roots. Organizers say the event reflects the University’s continued responsibility to and support of Native communities, as dictated by the Harvard Charter of 1650.