Danielle Jack from the Cowichan Nation gets ready for the Girls Fancy Dancing event at the Yellow Wolf Intertribal Powwow at the Tsartlip First Nation near Central Saanich. The powwow returns Aug. 2 to 4. (Black Press Media File)

Yellow Wolf Inter-tribal Powwow returns to Saanich Peninsula

Tsawout community hosting 25th anniversary celebration of dance and culture Aug. 2 to 4

Following a brief hiatus, the Yellow Wolf Inter-tribal Powwow is back for its 25th anniversary, taking place Aug. 2-4 at the Tsawout Gathering Strength centre in Saanichton.

The powwow took last year to regroup following a number of deaths in the family of Angel Sampson, who is the main organizer. At 4 p.m. this Friday, a memorial will be held to honour Sampson’s three brothers and niece who passed away, after which children, grand children and great grand children will join in.

Starting at 7 p.m. will be a grand entry parade featuring dancers partaking in the weekend event.

RELATED: Yellow Wolf Powwow postponed, but will return

The powwow will see various styles of dance and dress. There’s traditional dancers wearing buck-skin outfits with intricate beading and feathers; “grass” dancers whose ribbon-trimmed outfits move in interesting ways, and jingle-dress dancers, whose clothing features metal cones of various sizes that create unique sounds. There may even be some hoop dancers at the event.

The powwow started as a way for Sampson and her family to honour their late mother who left her home in the NezPerce Nation in Idaho to start a family on the Island.

“That’s where we get our powwow roots,” Sampson says, noting that powwows are not indigenous to Coast Salish culture.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ tribal school celebrates Indigenous Day with Yellow Wolf Powwow

Saturday’s grand entries start at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. with dancing expected to last until around 11 p.m. and the final grand entry taking place at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Drawing crowds anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 people, the powwow has attracted spectators from around the world such as Japan, Switzerland, Germany and England. It’s a great opportunity for tourists to support local artists or vendors by taking home a piece of culture, Sampson says.

The powwow is wheelchair accessible and anyone is welcome to watch, eat and of course, dance. For more information call Sampson at 250-665-7777. To access the Tsawout Gathering Strength facility take Mt. Newton Cross Rd. into the Tsawout property, where you’ll find the venue at 7728 Tetayut Rd.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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The Yellow Wolf Inter-tribal Powwow started as a way for Sampson and her family to honour their late mother who left her home in the NezPerce Nation in Idaho to start a family on the Island. (Black Press file photo)

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