Tyrone Kruger (left), of Penticton, and William Burnstick, from Vancouver Island, carry the flags in the grand entry of the Between the Lakes Pow Wow last year. (Western News file photo)

Biggest First Nations cultural event in the South Okanagan returns

Third annual pow wow at the Penticton Indian Band is this weekend

For Kristine Jack, seeing how youngsters have improved their dancing skills in the past year is a highlight of the Between The Lakes Pow Wow, the biggest First Nations cultural event in the South Okanagan.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the young dancers that we see every year grow and become so much more creative,” said Jack, an event organizer with the Four Seasons Cultural Society.

“They practice all year. They travel to other powwows. It’s just beautiful to see the growth in the children.”

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

The three-day, third annual celebration of the culture and traditions of the Syilx (Okanagan) people kicks off Friday and runs throughout the weekend.

Young people are who keep Indigenous culture, tradition, language and regalia alive, Jack added.

“Our regalia has changed throughout the years and you see (that) with some of the young who are more artistic,” she said. “Their regalia seems to be more artistic and flamboyant. Dancers come in all shapes and sizes and all colours. It’s just beautiful to witness all the beautiful regalia.”

Each dancer makes their own regalia, she added, so each outfit is unique. It takes a long time to collect the items to create.

“Each outfit is made for the dancer, so whatever you feel you need to have on your regalia to make it who you are (is used). The brightness and the feathers and the different animals that are sacrificed for certain ceremonial purposes. It’s just beautiful.”

This year promises to be a bigger event than in previous years, with hundreds of dancers from across Western Canada and the United States attending to display their talent and athleticism in a variety of traditional dance and drumming competitions.

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

Some of the dance specials this year include the men’s chicken battle, the two-spirited dance and the ladies jingle.

People attend a powwow for many reasons, Jack explained.

“Some come to just watch the dances, some come to bring their children to dance or family members, and then there are others who come who need it,” Jack said.

“They need the prayers. They need the significance of the powwow bringing the culture together and our First Nations communities together. There are so many prayers that are just powerful for people who feel like they need prayer right now.”

This year, about 20 vendors will be on hand at the Outma Sqilx’W Cultural School on the Penticton Indian Band reserve selling handcrafted arts and crafts, so bring cash.

The grand entry kicks off Friday at 7 p.m. The first day will be all about welcoming visitors and dancers and blessing the floor with grass dances. Saturday and Sunday are when the competitions get going and the dancers compete for cash prizes.

Tickets are $5 for one day or $10 for a weekend pass. Kids under five years old get in free.

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


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Co-accused in Penticton home invasion, standoff granted bail again

Jesse Mason was granted bail this morning, co-accused Josef Pavlik’s bail was denied

Summerland Fire Department organizes gift drive

Toys and Toonies for Tots and Teens campaign begins at Festival of Lights on Nov. 29

Penticton artist brings joy to others through her painting

Hedy Munawych is 96 years old and just loves painting the beauty of the world around her.

Farm-to-kitchen Italian style pizzeria opens on Penticton’s Westminster Street

Pizzeria Tratto is set up so diners can see their food being made

Okanagan teenagers found after missing for four days

The pair, believed to be dating, had been missing since Nov. 15.

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

B.C.’s ‘Dr. Frankenstein of guns’ back in jail yet again for trafficking in Glock parts

Bradley Michael Friesen has parole revoked for allegedly importing gun parts yet again

B.C. woman suing after laser hair removal leaves her with ‘severe’ burns, scarring

Nadeau felt ‘far more pain’ than usual during the treatment

Gift of science spread to low-income Okanagan families

Okanagan Science Centre matching donations until Dec. 1

$2.9 million judgment in B.C. blueberry farm sabotage lawsuit

The new owners saw most of their farm ruined just as they took possession

B.C. to more than double sales tax on vaping products

Tax up from 7 to 20 per cent, tobacco tax up two cents

Agreement signed for new Osoyoos Museum facility

The Osoyoos Museum Society lease takes effect Jan. 1, 2020

Spike belt stops stolen truck in Armstrong

Police dog used in search for suspect, one arrested

Most Read