Some superb regalia is on display during the dancing at the Quw’utsun Intertribal Pow Wow in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen file)

Some superb regalia is on display during the dancing at the Quw’utsun Intertribal Pow Wow in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen file)

Quw’utsun Intertribal Pow Wow brings culture and colour to Duncan’s Siem Lelum fields

For three days, dancers from across Vancouver Island and beyond will be in Duncan for Pow Wow

First Nations culture, its colour and music, will be on display at the Quw’utsun Intertribal Pow Wow at the Siem Lelum fields in Duncan July 27, 28, and 29.

The grand entry, always a particularly colourful event, will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 27, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, and at noon on Sunday, July 29.

Joe Thorne said Wednesday that he wants to see lots of people come out and have a great time at the event.

“We’ve been doing this now for quite a few years. This is all about entertainment. It’s not just for First Nations people. On the 28th, the Saturday, usually the strongest day, we’re even having a wedding at 11 a.m. We’ve found a couple with virtually nothing, and we’ve got a minister coming in. We’re going to marry them at the Pow Wow grounds. We like to help out people when we can.

“The main focus, is entertainment. There’s a myth out there that Pow Wows are [only for First Nations] but it’s not true. They are for everyone.

“We’ll have lots of youth, and dancers are coming from Alberta, from across B.C., and some are coming from Washington State. There will be food of all kinds, and craft people, too.”

Also, this will be the year that Joe Thorne, Dorothy Joe, and Lester Joe pass on the torch to the next generation, so that next year’s Pow Wow will feature a new set of organizers.

“That will be a highlight for us. We want to move on to other things. Our kids have been saying, we’re ready when you’re ready. We’ll be announcing it over the weekend,” he said.

The emcees for the Pow Wow are Murray (Muzz) Sampson and, Thorne is hoping that Nathaniel Arcand will able to make it as well.

The theme of this year’s event is “Honouring Our Missing Men and Women”.

There will be three special dance events and one special event for drum groups as well. But there is so much to see and enjoy with traditional dancing, fancy dancing, jingle dancing, golden age dancing, and grass dancing.

This Pow Wow features a fun, friendly atmosphere, and is more casual than the big events where the dancers are focussed on winning cash prizes, Thorne explained.

Admission is by donation at the gate. All proceeds go towards Pow Wow events, equipment rentals, and food for volunteers.

It’s a good idea to bring a lawnchair, if you need one, and don’t forget a hat, because the fields can get very hot during the day.

No alcohol or drugs are permitted on the Pow Wow grounds or in the parking area.

Photographs are permitted during parts of the show, but watch and listen for directions from organizers for the times when they are allowed so you can show the proper respect for First Nations traditions.

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