Thousands experience Native American culture at Gathering at the Falls Powwow

By Vincent Allen

Native American’s from all over the Pacific Northwest gathered in Spokane for an age-old celebration Aug. 22-Aug. 24. The Gathering at the Falls Powwow took place at the Lilac bowl in Spokane’s Riverfront Park and included various events and activities.

It kicked off Friday evening with the Second Annual Family Fun Night and Youth Powwow. This event consisted of music, dancing and games for all to partake in as well as prizes. Saturday was headlined by the the annual Fun Run, where participants ran up to three miles to raise awareness for the prevention of HIV and Diabetes. Then Sunday completed the weekend with dance competitions. One thing that all these events had in common was an emphasis on family, and for powwow committee member Barbara Gongyin, this emphasis was vital for a successful weekend.

“The significance of this specific event goes back to my childhood,” Gongyin said. “I joined the powwow committee to help keep it strong for my children and future generations so they can continue to enjoy it.”

During the event vendors from various Pacific Northwest tribes lined the trails of Riverfront Park, selling authentic Native American art and commodities. The prime location of this event in the middle of Spokane, made for high traffic at these vendor’s tents and around the main stage where all the music and dancing took place.

“Not all powwows are easily accessible to the general community and since this is held in the heart of our city, it is also a great chance to showcase our beautiful culture to those around us.,“ Gongyin said.

Over the course of the three days, the powwow saw close to 4,000 attendees who were able to experience authentic Native American culture.

About Vincent Allen

Vince Allen is a broadcasting major and public relations minor at Gonzaga University. He's originally from Sacramento, Calif. and is about to begin his senior year at GU. The past few years he's worked in various roles at SWX Spokane, running everything from camera to audio at local sporting events. After graduation, he hopes to move to L.A and begin working in the entertainment industry as either a host or a producer.

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