Kelowna powwow brings together community

When Syleena Pollard hears the rhythmic beat of drums, she knows exactly what to do.

When Syleena Pollard hears the rhythmic beat of drums, she knows just what to do.

“I feel like my feet want to dance,” said the eight year old at the Okanagan College’s ninth annual Youth Exhibition Powwow.

And dance she did.

Pollard danced, jumped and spun around with friends, her classmates from Springfield Elementary and hundreds of complete strangers during the event when emcee Richard Jackson Jr. of the Lower Nicola Indian Band called everyone to their feet.

It was a fun way for Pollard to share her culture with her community, and not to mention share her favourite wardrobe item.

Wearing a pink robe with wolves and paws representing the both her favourite animal and Okanagan First Nation culture she was a star that afternoon.

And she wasn’t the only student there happy to see their First Nation culture take centre stage.

Sophia Suderman, 9, said she was having a great day, dancing and listening to the drums.

“It’s so much fun to spin,” she said.

Springvalley teacher Carolyn Fralick said she’s been teaching for 34 years —29 of which at Springvalley—and Aboriginal culture is increasingly important in the school system, given recent curriculum changes.

“So much of the new curriculum is First Nation based and this is a good way to introduce it to students who don’t know much about it,” said Fralick.

“It’s a really positive event, they love the dancing and the songs and the crafts.”

The event included drumming from The Cliffs and Birch Creek. Dancers will perform in categories of traditional, fancy, grass, chicken and jingle.