Fourth Gathering of Oregon's First Nations Powwow set for Jan. 28

01.13.2012 Dean Rhodes Culture, Education, History, Events

Oregon's five federally recognized western Tribes have again come together to host the fourth annual Gathering of Oregon's First Nations Powwow, held again this year on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Salem Pavilion at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem.

The five western Tribes are the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, Coquille Indian Tribe, Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

"We would like to welcome everyone to the Gathering of Oregon's First Nations," said Nick Sixkiller (Siletz), master of ceremony of the event. "All the public is invited to enjoy our culture and our heritage. This is a good place to learn about American Indians in contemporary time."

A single Grand Entry will occur at 1 p.m., with Oregon Tribal representatives and veterans leading the procession. The five Tribes have invited the four federally recognized Tribes in eastern Oregon to attend, as well as all American Indians and the general public.

Tribal member and Grand Ronde Tribal Police Officer Jake McKnight will bring in the 9/11 Remembrance flag.

During Grand Entry, there will be a special recognition of all veterans attending. Native Americans have long served in the U.S. military in far greater numbers per capita than any other racial group and their pride in this service is traditionally displayed at every public event.

Traditional dance specials for men and women will be held during the afternoon and on into the evening for both northern- and southern-style dancers. Two more specials, father-son and mother-daughter dances also will be held. Tribal blankets and baskets filled with gifts will be offered as prizes.

Tony Whitehead (Siletz) will be arena director.

Vendors will sell exclusively Native-made goods at the powwow. Vendor tables, at $50 each, will be available through Jan. 23. Contact Grand Ronde Tribal member Kristen Ravia in the Public Affairs Office, 503-879-1418, (800-422-0232, ext. 1418) to reserve a table.

Doors open at noon. Parking at the pavilion will cost $3. The event will go on until about 9 p.m., Indian-time, said Sixkiller.

The first Gathering of Oregon's First Nations Powwow, held in 2009, coincided with the 150th anniversary of Oregon statehood. It served to remind Oregonians that Tribal peoples lived here long before statehood, and the event has since celebrated the sovereignty and culture of Oregon Tribes.

As at previous powwows, "Standing Strong," a video story of the five western Tribes, will show in a side room at the pavilion.

Information from individual Tribes will highlight individual Tribal histories, and cultural demonstrations also will be part of the powwow experience.