The 31st annual Chief Will-Yum Fathers’ Day Traditional Powwow takes place this weekend at the Chief Will-Yum Campsite, at Sugar Cane.
Starting tonight, June 19, the weekend is a family-friendly, drug and alcohol free traditional event hosted by the Williams Lake Indian Band.
For First Nations people living around the region and beyond the powwow is a chance to connect with family and friends and make new friends.
And for the non-aboriginal population it is a wonderful opportunity to see the beauty and pageantry of First Nations dance traditions and culture.
Each session starts with dancers in full regalia making the grand entry into the powwow arbor which is circled by covered viewing bleachers.
People come from as far away as Vancouver and Calgary, as well as other Shuswap territories, the Chilcotin and Bella Coola to participate.
Grand entries start at 7 p.m. on Friday; 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
This is not a competition powwow where dancers compete for prizes, but a traditional exhibition powwow where dancing and drumming is done for the joy of it.
There are dance categories for tiny tots, Jr. boys and girls, teen, adult, and golden age. The dances include traditional male and female styles, fancy male and female styles, the male only Chicken and Grass dance styles, and the women only Jingle dance.
The Sunday powwow honours fathers and includes a traditional give-away along with the senior and junior princess and little brave selections.
Throughout the weekend there will be numerous vendors selling food and many different types of crafts and art pieces made by First Nations people.
The powwow is a free event with feasting done throughout the weekend with priority given to elders and dancers.
A traditional Lahal tournament takes place starting this evening, June 19 and running through Saturday with three to seven players per team. The lahal entry fee is $125 of which $25 goes to toward organizing the powwow and the rest to pay out winners.
Lahal registration takes place at 5 p.m. today, June 19. For more information contact Bruce Baptise at 250-392-3918.
Camping is free in designated areas but all RV spots are booked ahead of time.