Okanagan College Hosts its 10th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow

Hundreds of youth, students and community members gathered in the courtyard at the College’s Kelowna campus on Sept. 20 to take in one of the most vibrant cultural events of the year – the 10th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow.

The event began with a special ceremony honouring Elder Richard Jackson Jr. of the Lower Nicola Indian Band and Noel Ferguson of the Canoe Creek First Nation. In acknowledgement of their long-time involvement in the powwow, OC President Jim Hamilton and Aboriginal Services Coordinator Anthony Isaac wrapped Jackson and Ferguson in traditional Pendleton blankets as a physical and spiritual symbol of respect and thanks for their years of commitment.

Shortly after Jackson and Ferguson were wrapped, the duo presented Okanagan College with an Eagle Staff as a symbol of respect and to recognize the College’s continued efforts to embrace Aboriginal culture and values and support the educational journey of Aboriginal learners.

Dancers and accompanying drummers came from across the B.C. interior to perform in a variety of dance categories including grass, fancy, chicken and traditional. The invited drum groups this year were Birch Creek, The Northern Tribes and Red Spotted Horse.

Attendees were treated to a fan-favourite lunch of Deconstructed Indian Tacos – prepared and served by the College’s Culinary Arts team and volunteers – and enjoyed shopping at the many craft vendors on location who were selling jewelry, artwork, soaps, moccasins and more.

“Powwows are intended to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members together and highlight the richness of our culture,” says Isaac. “We host many cultural events throughout the year and believe that the more we can do to increase people’s understanding of our ways of knowing and doing, the more we create a sense of belonging and inclusiveness for current and future OC students.”

  • View and download other high resolution photos from the College’s Flickr gallery.
  • For more information on the Powwow, please see the media release.
  • View recorded livestream of the event here

Original article from Okanagan College