The Native Suns Club held a Buffalo dinner scholarship fund raiser in the Presidential South Room of the Events Center the night of April 7. The money raised by the dinner will support the Native Suns Club Scholarship Fund. The fund is to assist UVU Native American students who may not qualify for tribal scholarships or who may have emergency needs.
“Basically what we try to do is keep all the Native students in school, that’s our main goal; so they can get educated,” said Billie Atsitty, vice president of the Native Suns Club. “I don’t want them to say ‘We don’t have the money. We can’t go.’”
The Native Suns Club Scholarship Fund has been able to assist at least 12 students over the past four years.
“We use some of the money from the pow-wow and some of the money from this dinner to put into the emergency scholarship fund,” said Ken Sekaquaptewa, academic advisor from the multicultural department to the Native Suns Club. “We try to put in between $2000 and $2500 a year.”
“One of our students before; he was part of the automotive program and somebody stole all of his tools,” said Atsitty. “He was about to go home but he came to us and asked for our help.”
Dinner was prepared by the UVU Culinary Arts Institute and consisted of traditional Native American food including Navajo blue corn tamales and fry bread as appetizers; creek peanut soup; Anishnaabeeg, or Ojibwe; wild rice dressing with cranberries; Sioux-style ember-roasted Buffalo Dinner; and Navajo peach crisp with pinons for dessert.
After dinner entertainment included dancing by the UVU Native American Cultural Envoys, a hoop dance by Rachel Dickson and an Indian Flute performance by Bernard Atene among other performances. All of the performers were UVU students.
“It’s a great way for people to come and see what the culture is about,” said Jayme Hathle, president of the Native Suns Club. “Each performance and each dance and anything else involved with the Native American culture there is always a story behind it.”
Tickets for the dinner were $50 per person or $90 per couple. For more information about the Native Suns Club or any other multicultural club contact the UVU Multicultural Center at 801-863-8357.