Powerful display of aboriginal culture at Chilliwack powwow

Grand entry is at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 8, and Spirit of the People powwow runs until Sunday at 5 p.m. at Tzeachten field

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger are two of the organizer for the Spirit of the People Powwow which takes place at Tzeachten Sports Field. The event runs Aug. 8 to 10.

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger are two of the organizer for the Spirit of the People Powwow which takes place at Tzeachten Sports Field. The event runs Aug. 8 to 10.

Spirit of the People Pow Wow is being resurrected in Chilliwack this weekend with brilliant colours flying at the Tzeachten Sports Field.

The goal is to bring the crowds back into the fold, says Gary Abbott, arena director.

Once organizers got a good look at the grassy fields on Bailey Road, they knew it would be an ideal location for a traditional pow wow.

“The grounds at Tzeachten fields are very beautiful and they’re perfect for the dancers. They’ll absorb the shock well.”

Next summer the event will grow into a full contest pow wow.

“The goal this year really is to bring people back to the pow wow,” Abbott says. “We’re hoping to have about 3,000 people over the weekend.”

Grand entry is at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 8, and features all the dancers in a brilliant display of colour and pride, and runs until Sunday at 5 p.m.

Organizers hope the new outdoor spot works out in the long-term.

“By solidifying this location as a permanent site for the Pow Wow, it enables us to strengthen past and current relationships, while building on new partnerships based on trust, shared cultural identity and a sense of community,” says Louis De Jaeger, corporate liaison Spirit of the People Cultural Society.

The plan for this weekend is to feature a number of “specials,” which are prizes for the various pow wow dance categories like the Maxine Prevost Buckskin Memorial, for example, as well as men’s grass or men’s chicken dance categories, and many more.

There’s tent camping at the site, and different performances like the Golden Ears Métis Dance Group during the break from the competitions between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. A salmon BBQ, Indian tacos, and Chilliwack corn will be available.

While Abbott himself is a Men’s Fancy Dancer, but at this event he’ll be concentrating on keeping things flowing as arena director for the pow wow.

He directs traffic from the floor as arena director.

“I have to keep it all moving. I learned how to do that from my dad (former Lt. Gov. Steven Point).”

That’s part of the long-standing successful history of the Chilliwack Pow Wow, first organized by his brother, and later by Point family members and a host of volunteers, Abbott said. It became the Spirit of the People when it was run by the late Maxine Prevost.

Organizers picked this weekend specifically for the event, since there weren’t any other pow wows that they knew of scheduled in B.C. or Washington State.

“This weekend there is also the Abbotsford Air Show and the Chilliwack Fair set to go ahead, but I think we will still get a good crowd.”

Host Drum Eya Hey Nakoda is from Morley Alberta and MCs are Gerald SittingEagle and Nelson Leon.

Admission is $2 per day or $5 per weekend

Spirit of the People Pow Wow, Aug. 8, 9, 10 at Tzeachten Sports Field on 46770 Bailey Road.

Grand entry Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

Event is D/A free. Questions or more information email garyvabbott@live.com or call 604 845-5234.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/chwkjourno

Just Posted

A new sign was installed at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community effort to install new sign at Chilliwack’s oldest church

‘We feel it’s a step in the right direction to bring the church up-to-date,’ says St. Thomas parishioner

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

A student prepares to throw a plate full of whipped cream at principal Jim Egdcombe’s face as vice principal Devin Atkins watches as part of a fundraiser at Leary Integrated Arts and Technology elementary on Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
The pied principals: Chilliwack elementary staff get messy for charity

Cops for Cancer fundraiser saw kids ‘pie the principal’ at Leary elementary in Chilliwack

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)
Shining a light on brain injury in Canada

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

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

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Most Read