Quesnel’s annual Pow Wow a colourful celebration

First Nations people from across B.C. joined in the festivities

A steady drum beat emanates from the city’s indoor soccer facility this weekend, as the Annual Quesnel Tillicum Society Pow Wow welcomes aboriginal groups from across B.C. Oct. 7-8.

Attendees enjoyed the traditional music and food available, and browsed the moccasins and beaded earrings set out by the vendors in the facility.

The Pow Wow this year honoured youth, as well as Kluskus elder Matilda Chantyman, who is 101.

Pow Wow organizer Dina Unrau said: “We dance for the earth and the poeple on the earth. This year we are dancing in particular to celebrate an elder, Matiltda Chantyman, but we are also honouring our youth, because we want our youth to be well and go to school and live healthy lives.”

Dancer Francis Johnson Senior, from Williams Lake, said he has been a fancy dancer for more than 30 years.

“This is a young man’s dance, but I enjoy doing it. I also teach hoop dancing, I just taught some people in Kluskus. I teach students in Williams Lake too.”

Johnson said he used to come to the Quesnel Pow Wow regularly, but this year is his first time in three years.

“I came a lot in my younger years. It is getting to be a bigger event,” he commented.

The Pow Wow was not just for First Nations people, and other members of the community came to see the colourful traditional outfits and dancing, and were tempted by the smell of cooking bannock.

“We want to share this with everybody,” said Unrau.

“The entire community is invited.”


Traditional beadwork at the event. Melanie Law photo

Making dreamcatchers. Melanie Law photo

Dancer Francis Johnson Senior from Williams Lake. Melanie Law photo

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