The Gathering of Nations is an annual event that brings together thousands of citizens from hundreds of First Nations across North America and for some 30 years the event has been held at “The Pit” – a sporting events venue – at the University of New Mexico.
On May 3 the UNM announced that they would no longer be hosting the annual Pow Wow event. UNM Director of Media Relations stated, “the University is facing tough budgetary constraints, hosting the Pow Wow had become prohibitively costly to our athletic department, as well as risk services, police and security, and other university operations.”
But according to UNM sports facilities manager Scott Dotson the Gathering of Nations pays the University for expenses. The 2016 GON has just concluded and according to Dotson the athletic department received $70,000 for expenses from the GON. The GON also offered scholarship money to the University of between $30,000 to $50,000.
The annual Pow Wow event is far from a money making venture for those who put on the event; reports are that they GON pays out twice what they bring in in ticket sales and vendor fees.
The city of Albuquerque is rich in Native and Hispanic culture. The annual Gathering of Nations brings in thousands of people and millions of dollars to the city each year.
Although they do not know exactly where the Pow Wow will be held next year, the GON has said that it will indeed be in Albuquerque. Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry has said that he will do all that he can to aid the GON to keep the event in his city. In a statement Berry said, “this is our culture, these are our people. This is Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is a world-class event and we have a great relationship in place between my office and the organizers. We’re going to meet tomorrow and figure it out.”
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