A powwow celebrating traditional indigenous culture will take place at the Shatford Centre from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 21. (Submitted)

Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day with a powwow

Indigenous dance takes place at the Shatford Centre on June 21

Vibrant indigenous dancers from the across the Okanagan will converge in Penticton this Friday to celebrate Canada’s National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The celebration on June 21 will take place at the Shatford Centre from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with what is becoming an annual tradition: a powwow.

Anona Kampe, cultural coordinator with Okanagan Skaha School District 67, said the powwow is a powerful symbol of indigenous culture and, traditionally, is a way to bring people together over the long distances.

READ MORE: Penticton Indian Band students show off dance skills with Outside Looking In

Indigenous people from communities across the Okanagan will be dressed in regalia to dance, sing and drum, she said. What each dancer wears has different meanings depending on their age and role.

“The jingle dress originated in Ojibwa country. It’s not an Okanagan custom per se and yet there are lots of Okanagan people who have started dancing with a jingle dress because it is a medicine dress and a healing dance. The sound from the jingles will carry your prays to the creator so the creator can hear your prayers,” she explained.

It is the fourth year a powwow is being held at the Shatford Centre, but new this year, students from Oliver will be attending to perform songs in a drum group.

“They’re really excited to come and join us as well,” Kampe said.

June 21 is symbolic for indigenous people, Kampe said, because it is the first day of the summer and as the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

READ MORE: Indigenous dancers from the Okanagan to bring their moves to Toronto

Kampe said some other important things to know about the powwow is that the regalia participants wear should never be considered to be costumes.

“A costume is make-believe and pretend. Our culture is very real, it’s not pretending. When I dress in my jingle dress, I’m a jingle dancer,” she said.

The powwow begins at 11 a.m. with an opening ceremony but there will also be craft vendors, face painting, food trucks, vendors and a bouncy castle. A drum competition will also take place.

The event is organized by the En’owkin Centre, Indigenous Education-School District 67, Ooknakane Friendship Centre, Okanagan College, Penticton Historical Society, South Okanagan Restorative Justice and the Shatford Centre Okanagan School of the Arts.

Indigenous Peoples Day was first celebrated in Canada as National Aboriginal Day in 1996. In 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renamed the day to National Indigenous Peoples Day, with support from Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


Robin Grant
Reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or follow me on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna Fire and Rescue gear up for annual ‘Fire in the Mountains’ initiative

WKPF is offering one individual the opportunity to spend up to 3 days with their firefighter hero’s hiking or paddling in one of BC’s pristine wilderness environments

Kelowna’s Sutherland Salvation Army thrift store closes permanently

The location has been facing challenges amid COVID-19

Local state of emergency declared at Penticton home

Slope failure cited as city issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Therapeutic art for sale at Okanagan show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Most Read