Fifth Gathering of Oregon's First Nations Powwow set for Jan. 26
By Ron Karten
Smoke Signals staff writer
SALEM -- Four of western Oregon’s five federally recognized Tribes will come together once again to host the fifth annual Gathering of Oregon’s First Nations Powwow on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Salem Pavilion on the Oregon State Fairgrounds.
The theme will be health, said Siobhan Taylor, Public Affairs director for the Grand Ronde Tribe, who is organizing the event. “Diabetes, exercise, healthy eating will all be on the agenda.”
The four sponsoring 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 and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians decided not to participate in this year’s powwow.
The four eastern Oregon Tribes ¬– Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, Burns-Paiute Tribe and the Klamath Tribe – are invited. Members from all Oregon Tribes and many beyond usually attend and participate, Taylor said.
All Native Americans and the general public are always invited.
Grand opening begins at 1 p.m. with Nick Sixkiller acting as master of ceremonies and Tony Whitehead serving as Arena Director.
Oregon Tribal representatives and veterans will lead the procession.
During Grand Entry, Oregon’s western Tribes will recognize 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 on display at every public event.
Traditional dance specials for men and women will be held during the afternoon, although specific events are still to be decided. Tribal blankets and baskets filled with gifts will be offered as prizes.
Vendors will sell exclusively Native-made goods at the powwow. Vendor tables, at $50 each, will be available through Jan. 23 by contacting the Grand Ronde Public Affairs Office at 503-879-1418, (800-422-0232, ext. 1418) to reserve a table.
Doors will open at 10 a.m. Parking at the pavilion will cost $3. The event will go on until about 9 p.m.
The inaugural 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’s federally recognized Tribes.
As at previous powwows, “Standing Strong,” a video story of the five western Tribes, will be shown in a side room at the pavilion.
Information from Tribes will highlight individual Tribal histories and cultural demonstrations are always part of the powwow. There also will be lots of hands-on activities for children, Taylor said.