Veterans Powwow will be first under new arbor

06.30.2015 Dean Rhodes Culture, Events

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Veterans Special Event Board Chairman Steve Bobb Sr. will be on his way to Germany to visit an exchange employee that he and his wife, Connie, hosted when the 2015 Marcellus Norwest Memorial Veterans Powwow becomes the first to be held under the new arbor at Uyxat Powwow Grounds, 9390 Highway 22.

“We’re pretty excited about being under the new arbor,” Bobb says, adding that unfortunately he will be leaving on the morning of Friday, July 10, for Europe. “I’m missing out on that. It’s kind of a bummer to miss that initial powwow in the arbor.”

The Bobbs hosted German employees who worked with Tribal GIS Coordinator Volker Mell.

“Every other year they have a world festival in their village,” Bobb says about Felix, one of the German exchange employees he will be visiting. “It’s the same weekend as the Veterans Powwow. I couldn’t go in 2013 because I was still on council.”

Nevertheless, Bobb says, the new arbor will provide relief from the sun, increase dancing area to the powwow arena and save the Tribe money in renting a large tent twice a year. In addition, the dancing area should be more level since it has been re-sodded.

The Veterans Powwow starts at 7 p.m. Friday, July 10, with the first of four grand entries scheduled over the weekend. Other grand entries are set for 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, July 11, and 1 p.m. Sunday, July 12.

Siletz Tribal employee Nick Sixkiller, a familiar face at powwows in Grand Ronde, is once again the master of ceremonies and Carlos Calica is the arena director. Red Hoop from Reno, Nev., is the host drum. All veterans, drummers and dancers are welcome.

The powwow will honor World War II veteran Allen “Biff” Langley Sr., who walked on in April 2014, on Saturday. Langley’s daughter, Maxine Clements, will host an honor dinner for her father at the dinner tent at the powwow grounds between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

“They are bringing all of their own cooks and all of their own stuff over from Warm Springs,” Bobb said.

Bobb said the new 5-foot-wide Color Guard logo, created by David Ho, will be hanging under the arbor. “It will hang where the grand entry is and facing the dancing circle,” Bobb said. “That will stay there permanently since it is a hair underneath the roof and protected from the weather a little.”

Tribal member Deitz Peters and his wife, Rose (Shoshone), will be the head man and woman. Dance specials will include Women’s Jingle and Men’s Grass sponsored by the Peters.

The Tribe’s Culture Committee will be sponsoring a Mother/Daughter Special on Saturday evening and there also will be a Red Shawl Healing Dance sponsored by the Tribe’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program.

During Bobb’s absence, Veterans Special Event Board member Reina Nelson will be running the show with assistance from fellow board member Raymond Petite and Land and Culture staff member Bobby Mercier.

Powwow vendors should contact Nelson at 503-879-2313 or

Human Resources is hiring 15 temporary employees to help with powwow setup, parking, cleanup and takedown.

“The Culture Committee, Chachalu Museum and Land and Culture Department, Human Resources, Social Services and, of course, Public Affairs are helping with the powwow,” Nelson said. “It takes a lot of people to orchestrate an event like this.”

Chachalu Museum & Cultural Center, 8720 Grand Ronde Road, also will be open from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11, for powwow attendees to visit.

The Veterans Powwow is open to the public and camping is available. No alcohol or illegal drugs, including public use of marijuana, are allowed at the powwow grounds.

The powwow is put on by the Tribe’s Veterans Special Event Board, which includes Bobb, Nelson, Petite, Wink Soderberg, Michael Lane, Alton Butler and Susie Lash.