Local Powwows give opportunities to learn about America’s roots

Mikayla Hartley, Writer

Every once in a while you may hear talk of a Native Powwow occurring nearby. The local Nez Perce Tribe puts these on for different types of celebrations. Depending on the time of year, there are also annual Powwows that Natives and the general public are allowed to participate in. The last Powwow was on October 19th this year. This annual Powwow was celebrated through lots of dancing with different meanings behind each one. Competitions were held for these dances, and judges watched closely to be sure those who participated were keen on the beat.

The experience of going to a Powwow can be very thrilling, however, it is a bit hard to follow if you are not aware of what is happening. You may find yourself feeling immense culture shock, and that’s okay! The speaker at the last Powwow did a very good job of explaining some of the dances, however, it does help to go with someone who knows the culture and is native to it.

Some things to keep in mind when you go to the next Powwow:

Respect the culture. This may not be what you are used to. Be sure to keep an open mind and respect other people around you just as you would any other event or celebration.

Do NOT take any photos or videos. The Nez Perce tribe have a strict rule that only
Natives are permitted to take photos and videos of the Powwow. It is considered very disrespectful, and you may have someone ask you to stop filming.

Learn as much as you can! Powwows are a great way to see a different part of the world away from little old Lewiston.

The deep cultural roots in just the outfits and dancing are barely just scratching the surface of the complex menagerie that is Nez Perce. When you go, soak up as much information as you can, and have fun!