MCC celebrates Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow MCC will host its 22nd annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow Saturday, Sept. 28, from 1 to 7:30 p.m. at the historic Fort Omaha Campus parade grounds. The powwow, which is free and open to the public, celebrates Nebraska’s vibrant Native American history through dance, music, traditional crafts, colorful regalia and foods. The powwow is hosted on the same grounds where Ponca Chief Standing Bear was imprisoned in 1879, awaiting his trial that would establish the recognition of native peoples as “person[s] within the meaning of the law.” A celebration of Native American cultures, the powwow honors the traditional dance, music, artistry, oral history and foods of the four Nebraska Indian tribes: the Northern Ponca, Omaha, Santee Sioux and Winnebago. Nearly 400 native artists of various tribes accross Nebraska and the surrounding region, including the Northern Ponca participate annually in this special, familyfriendly event. The day’s activities include a gourd dance, a tradition that originated with the Kiowa and features male dancers with gourd rattles; the dance will be prior to the event from 10 a.m. to noon. Grand entry, when dancers enter the arena to start the powwow, begins at 1 p.m. Following native traditions, an elder opens and closes the powwow with prayer in both native and English languages. Study circles led by native experts are held throughout the day to help newcomers learn more about Native Americans and the significance of the powwow. Observers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. For more information, visit mccneb.edu/intercultural or call 402-457-2253. The powwow is made possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment. The event is funded in part by Douglas County Visitors Improvement Fund. New report touts MCC’s striking degree growth The number of MCC degrees conferred annually has increased 141.8 percent over the last decade — the largest jump compared to any other Nebraska postsecondary institution, reinforcing the demand for MCC’s services. 1,879 777 2001–2002 21 • community • mccneb.edu 2011–2012 Between 2001–02 and 2011–12, the number of degrees awarded surged from 777 to 1,879, according to a report from the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. MCC drew praise from commission Executive Director Marshall Hill for its “consistent and impressive improvement” on the number of degrees awarded. MCC now confers more degrees and awards than any other Nebraska community college. The full report is available on the commission’s website at www.ccpe.state.ne.us.