Putting the wow in this year’s powwow

Spirit of the People Powwow July 24-26 in Chilliwack features "a powerhouse of talent" with the theme 'honouring women'

Grand entry of the dancers is at 7 p.m. on July 24 for the 2015 Spirit of the People Powwow at Tzeachten Sports Field on Bailey Road.

Grand entry of the dancers is at 7 p.m. on July 24 for the 2015 Spirit of the People Powwow at Tzeachten Sports Field on Bailey Road.

Putting on traditional powwows in Chilliwack has always been a family tradition, says organizer Gary Abbott.

The Spirit of the People Pow Wow at Tzeachten Sports Field will see that tradition continue.

Abbott has been a powwow dancer most of his life.

“Watching my parents run the powwow and learning how to do it gave me substantial knowledge in how it’s all put together and how to do it well,” he says.

Organizers for the Spirit of the People Powwow July 24-26 have assembled “a powerhouse of talent” with drummers and dancers coming to Chilliwack from across North America.

It will be the first time in a couple of years that Sto:lo organizers are presenting a competition style event.

“We’re expecting this to be one of the largest powwows in B.C.,” Abbott says.

A competition powwow means the focus is on a set list of traditional dance categories and a set time for dancers to do their thing.

There will be dancers and drummers competing for cash prizes and specials. Attendees can also expect a West Coast hand drum contest, with participants in full regalia.

There are plans for a First Nations fashion show, along with authentic crafts and arts, salmon BBQ with Indian Tacos, bannock and more.

As usual, everyone is welcome to soak up some proud displays of aboriginal culture, he says.

Abbott says he’s happy to be giving back, and sees the event as a multicultural one, with a bhangara dance group set to perform.

“It’s up to all of us to put on a good event, and it’s a way of giving back to benefit our culture and lifestyle.”

Unfortunately, the number of powwows has been on the decline in B.C. over the past five years.

“So there is a reason to continue this good work,” he says. “We’re working hard to reinvigorate it on a number of levels.”

This year the theme of this year’s powwow is honouring women, says Abbott.

“Several matriarchs from communities across B.C. will be attending this year’s event. We will be giving them a chance to introduce themselves and share a little about their families.”

They’re hoping to attract 4000 to 6000 people throughout the weekend.

“It’s a great way to bring all different cultures together with a focus on First Nations. But many non native people enjoy it very much as well.”

The Tzeachten Sports Field on Bailey Road is just an “awesome venue” with many suitable aspects.

“It’s a very level and forgiving surface when you dance on the fields. Plus there is a lot of space for the dance arena and the vendors.”

They’ll have twice as many vendors coming as last year, where they only had about two months to get organized.

A teepee will be set up on-site.

Spirit of the People Powwow, July 24-26, at Tzeachten Sports Field, 46770 Bailey Rd, Chilliwack, or check them out on Facebook.Grand entry is at 7 p.m. on Friday night, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. The Spirit Fashion Show will be on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/chwkjourno

Just Posted

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema, a member of the Canadian national women’s soccer squad.
Another scoreless draw for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canadian national women’s soccer squad

Canada played Brazil to a 0-0 tie days after doing the same in a friendly against the Czech Republic

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

The cannabis dispensary store, located at 1024 Clark Drive in East Vancouver. (Instagram/Budwayonclark)
Vancouver pot shop owner ordered to pay $40K for copying Subway

Store’s mascot is a red-eyed, cannabis-filled smoking sandwich

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

A letter from a senior RCMP officer in Langley said Mounties who attended a mayor’s gala in January of 2020 used their own money. Controversy over the event has dogged mayor Val van den Broek (R) and resulted in the reassignment of Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power (L). (file)
Langley RCMP officers used ‘own money’ to attend mayor’s gala, senior officer says

‘I would not want there to be a belief that the police officers had done something untoward’

Squirrels are responsible for most of U.S. power outages. Black Press file photo
Dead squirrels in park lead Richmond RCMP to probe ‘toxic substance’ found in trees

Police aren’t sure if the chemical was dumped there or placed intentionally

Most Read