page 2 of 2
The powwow has moved only a couple of times over its history - and the grounds and arbor remain as I remember them the few times I've been a part of the gathering.
This year's Celebration is June 15 - 17
But this year was too important to miss. So my family and I traveled the thousand miles for this year's anniversary.
We prayed. We danced. And we swapped stories with family - members with whom we are close and relatives we met for the first time.
We also fed people - and stacks of gifts were handed out to people who came to the celebration.
It was such fun to shop for things that will be gifts; somehow it means even more when you never know who received them. We didn't give away any cars, but I think my great-grandfather would have been proud of the stacks of gifts that were given.
So much of the celebration, at least for me, was the memory of my grandmother and her telling of these stories. It was a way to put places or events into a context of meaning. It doesn't matter when the first celebration occurred; it matters that the celebration continues.
This was a new telling of an old story. We were part of a large family - grandparents, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, siblings and cousins - keeping alive a prayer and a vow. This is how this story is passed along to the next generation; a ceremony for my children as they navigate life.
Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, the former editor of the editorial page for the "Seattle Post-Intelligencer,- is well known in Indian circle as the journalist who asked former President George W. Bush to define the meaning of tribal sovereignty in the 21st century.
posted June 13, 2012 7:59 am edt