Elders, children and tribal members of all ages entered fancy dancing and grass dancing competitions, in handmade, elegant regalia from head to foot, arrived on the closing day of the Colville Powwow. The Institute for Community Leadership joined various members of different Native Tribes, where we learned from local young people, that, “It only takes one person to light a spark.” The youth talked about the choice they made to get involved in dance and regalia making, and how many of their friends had chosen not to do so. The difference? Those who chose to participate found strength in doing the right thing, even though many others around them did not.
We talked and gained insights from elders, youth and people of all ages, who expressed their culture through dance, food and other aspects that reflect the power and preservation of tribal sovereignty.
By being a part of the Colville Powwow we reflected on how we too can do more to be unified with our own cultures, in learning that some of the Colville young people have just began the process of learning regalia making and fancy dancing, we gained understanding that you can learn about your culture at any stage or age of life.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that, “We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.” He continues by stating that, “We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact.” Should the moment come where we feel that even our own cultures are irrelevant, we must understand that it’s these ties that bind us. In reconnecting and preserving our cultures we embed the seeds of our humanity into the earth, growing the interrelated tree of humanity. Celebrate where you come from, learn and teach others, go forth boldly, and grow peacefully together.