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Tribes pass down traditions at annual Mother's Day Powwow

The University of Oregon Native American Student Union is hosting its annual Mother's Day Powwow. This is the 49th year the UO has put on the event. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore -- The Mother's Day Powwow, put on by the University of Oregon's Native American Student Union (NASU), is in its 49th year. The celebration kicked off on Friday at Mac Court, where participants danced and drummed all to celebrate the women who raised them. Aimee Stark, a member of Cherokee Nation, has participated in the Mother's Day Powwow for years -- but it's her daughter's first time.

"She's my first, so it's been really special. She's 15 months old so this is actually her first time to dance out there so I'm pretty proud."

Participants dressed up in beautiful, native regalia to celebrate their mothers in a special way. However, the celebration is not all fun and games -- from the attire to the drums, it takes a lot of work.

"We train a lot at home too, we put on drums and she'll be learning how to dance and stuff," said Stark. "From the time she's this age to the time she's older; they learn really young."

And all that hard work pays off. Stark said she learned to dance at a young age too, and that the powwow for her is more than just a celebration.

"It's very special to bring on our traditions and as a mom, I actually didn't know I was going to be able to be a mom,” Stark said. “So she's my miracle baby. So, to bring on my traditions and put it in her so she can bring it on for generations to come -- it's very, very special."

If you missed out on the powwow at the university Friday, the celebration continues through the weekend. It will be at Mac Court again tomorrow from noon to seven at night -- followed by a salmon bake on Sunday.

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