Everyone invited to Father’s Day Powwow in Williams Lake this weekend

All people are invited to the 28th Annual Father’s Day Powwow this weekend at the Williams Lake Indian Band’s Chief Will-Yum campsite.

All First Nations and non-First Nations people are invited to come out and enjoy the 28th Annual Father’s Day Powwow this weekend at the Williams Lake Indian Band’s Chief Will-Yum campsite and powwow arbor.

“It is a big event,” says event committee director Virginia Gilbert. “Everybody is welcome to come and visit, see what we do at a traditional gathering and take pictures.”

She says drummers and dancers will be coming from as far away as Alberta and northern and southern B.C. to participate in this alcohol- and drug-free family gathering which begins Friday evening, June 15 with the camp set up as people arrive.

If there are enough people in attendance Friday evening she says there will be a grand entry at 7 p.m.

Saturday there will be grand entries at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. where all of the dancers parade into the arbor in their regalia.

“People will see a lot of beautiful, colourful regalia, dances and songs,” Gilbert says.

Saturday evening starting at 5 p.m. the Williams Lake Band members host a pot-luck feast for the participants and visitors, Gilbert says.

Weekend highlights include a hoop dancing contest, Princess Pageant and Little Brave event, coming-out ceremonies, giveaways, and a special dance on Sunday honouring fathers.

The grand entry Sunday starts at 1 p.m. and the powwow wraps up about 5 p.m. Sunday.

“We celebrate Fathers Day on Sunday by having all the fathers gather in a circle and we have a dance and song and cake for them to show our appreciation for their support of mothers and children all year long,” Gilbert says

The master of ceremonies will be John Terbasket and the whipman will be Jim Edgar.

The host drum changes with each grand entry.

There will also be numerous vendors set up around the arbor with First Nations crafts such as buckskin, bead work, and pine needle boxes, and more available for sale.

The Sugar Shack concession will be open and food booths offering traditional First Nations dishes are also available.