An All Nations Powwow will be taking place during the Williams Lake Stampede this year.
The long-awaited powwow will take place June 26 to June 28 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
Esk’etemc First Nation Chief Fred Robbins says he is excited for what he believes will be a well-received event within the community and that he is getting nothing but positive results from First Nations communities that can’t wait for it to happen.
“Just off the top of my head I’m going to say maybe 150 to 200 dancers and possibly 15 to 20 drum groups, and then with the artisans, I’m expecting maybe 50 to 60,” Robbins says. “And I hope to see maybe 500, 600 people show up for the Saturday evening performance.”
Robbins says they have budgeted $150,000 for the powwow. He adds that the City of Williams Lake and Cariboo Regional District (CRD) have contributed in-kind contributions to cover the costs for the complex.
“I wanted a First Nations feel again with the Stampede and the association with the Stampede. I think the powwow was the next step and to create something like this I think will it will really help with the reconciliation that needs to happen with the First Nations and non-First Nations in and around the community,” he says.
“I believe that reconciliation is something that a lot of people talk about but nobody really does anything about, and with a powwow, it’s an opportunity to start the reconciliation at a community level rather than wait for the Pierre Elliott Trudeaus to do it for us. I think what it really boils down to is the people having to do the work, and we’re working together with the City and the CRD to develop this and it’s going to be positive results I’m 100 percent sure.”
(Note listen to the author of this report with Esk’etemc First Nation Chief Fred Robbins in the audio file below)