Okanagan dancing to the beat of many drums at the Pow Wow Between the Lakes

Flag bearers lead the grand entry on the second day of the Pow Wow Between the Lakes. (Mark Brett - Western News)
Colourful regalia worn during the dance competitions. (Mark Brett - Western News)
The faces of the 2019 the Pow Wow Between the Lakes. (Mark Brett - Western News)
Laura Grizzlypaws holds Tyee Retasket during the grand entry ceremonies. (Mark Brett - Western News)
The host drum High Water Drummers provided some of the music for the dancers. (Mark Brett - Western News)
Jamie Stimson gets Bella Armstrong ready for her performance. (Mark Brett - Western News)
Two-year-old Isabella Michel holds her father’s hand during her dance. (Mark Brett - Western News)
Eaison Cote, 4, is the picture of concentration during the tots dance competition at the Pow Wow Between the Lakes Saturday. (Mark Brett - Western News)
Lennard Supernault of Williams Lake competes in the men’s dance competition. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Day two of the Pow Wow Between the Lakes featured dancers of all ages performing traditional steps.

Organized by the Four Seasons Cultural Society the three-day event is a celebration of the culture and traditions of the Syilx (Okanagan) people.

Read More: Biggest First Nations cultural event in the South Okanagan returns

It takes place on the grounds of the Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School, with a dense ring of chairs and tents set around the dancing circle. All across the grounds young children were running and playing, a welcome sight for organizer Kristine Jack.

“As I was a child, running around the Pow Wow, I was one of these little kids,” Jack said as she pointed towards the play equipment covered in children. “To see them, with smiles on their faces and having a great time, that’s what it’s about. That’s why we do this every year.”

147 competitors, 27 more than last year, from Western Canada and the United States are taking part, dressed in their colourful regalia. Men, women, and children were all dressed and dancing, and the sound of drums and singing could be heard all around the school.

“I overlooked what we have right now, and I thought my mom would be so proud. I know she is, but as well, I know all our ancestors and our elders that remember the Pow Wow we used to have years ago; we brought it back, and it’s here to stay,” said Jack. “Doesn’t matter where we’re going to have this in Penticton, we’re going to keep this Pow Wow going.”

Year over year, the Pow Wow has grown in numbers and reach, and with the fifth scheduled for next August, there are hopes to expand further.

“Year five, I wanted to be in Okanagan Lake Park, this is year four,” said Jack. “I would love to have the whole city of Penticton be able to come in and enjoy our event. And I think Lake Okanagan Park right now is looking pretty good.

On Sunday, the last of five cycles of dance and competition begins at 1 p.m. at the Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School.

Just Posted

Concert raised funds for Agur Lake Camp

Tim Nutt was headline act at Comedy Night Fundraiser in Summerland

Summerland music promoter wins national award

Paul Biro honoured at 2019 CCMA Awards in Calgary

PET OF THE WEEK: Teddy wants a quiet home of his own

Older cat enjoys evenings spent binge-watching Bonanza

Fill a bag and help those in the South Okanagan in need

The annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive takes place this week in Penticton and Summerland

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

Vernon race organizer head-butted by homeless man won’t be stopped

Man arrested after allegedly stealing race flags, assaulting woman in Kalamalka Lake park

Penticton man with multiple driving infractions loses appeal on ‘harsh’ sentence

Driver has been convicted multiple times, including for criminal negligence causing death

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

WHL action returns to Okanagan, Rockets GM anxious for season’s start

Big off-season changes, the Memorial Cup; it’s all coming together for Bruce Hamilton

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

Most Read