Each April, one of Rio Rancho's high school gymnasiums echoes to the sounds of drums, chants, and songs. The smell of traditional fry bread and Indian tacos wafts in from the patio as dancers of all ages, wearing the traditional dress of their tribes, celebrate their ancient traditions.
The 6th Annual RRPS Pow Wow (view our flyer) was held on April 20, 2013 at the Rio Rancho High School gym. The event featured Gourd Dancers, Grand Entries, amazing drum groups, and traditional dance competitions in several categories. In addition, the event included a student art contest, raffles, giveaways, vendor booths featuring native arts and crafts, and other activities throughout the day.
The annual Pow Wow is sponsored by the RRPS Native American Parent Advisory Council (NAPAC), the Rio Rancho High School Native American Student Union, and the Cleveland High School Native American Student Union. The Pow Wow provides a means to bring the community together, to share their culture with others, and raise awareness about NAPAC with Rio Rancho parents. It also helps to cement the bonds among schools and their Native American families and is one way the district teaches students about the state's diverse cultures.
Rio Rancho Public Schools enrolls students from all of New Mexico’s Native American tribes, as well as many tribes throughout the nation. About 5.3% of RRPS’s student population is Native American.
Each year, a percentage of the proceeds from the annual Pow Wow are used to fund the district’s Native American Summer Academy, which is designed to integrate Native American culture with core subject areas. This program focuses on instilling a sense a unity and community among urban native youth along with providing an educational, cultural and enriching experience.
Five years of RRPS Benefit Pow Wow History!
Pow Wow Student Art Contest Winner
Last year’s 5th Annual Benefit Pow Wow Art Winner was Sebastian Clemens, a 2nd Grade student from Enchanted Hills Elementary School.