What started out as a reminder to Oregonians that Native peoples had called the Pacific Northwest home long before statehood was established has now become an annual celebration. We’re talking about the fourth annual Gathering of Oregon’s First Nations pow wow, which starts today at noon and goes until 9 p.m. The pow wow will fill the Oregon State Fair & Expo Center’s Salem Pavilion with color, music, dancing and life. Admission is free, we recommend you take advantage of it if you can. The Grand entry will be held at 1 p.m.
The first Gathering, held in 2009 and organized cooperatively by the five federally-recognized Tribes in western Oregon, “sought to remind Oregonians that Native peoples have lived in what became the state of Oregon on Feb. 14, 1859, since time immemorial,” a press release stated. “The late January event date was picked to symbolically occur before Oregon’s official 150th birthday in 2009, commemorating the history that occurred before admittance to the Union.”
The three previous pow wows were such a success that organizers representing the five western Tribes – the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, Coquille Indian Tribe, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Confederated Tribes of Siletz – decided to hold a fourth event.
The pow wow will echo previous events with Tribal educational booths, Native craft demonstrations, cultural drumming, dancing and Tribal vendors.
Location: 2330 17th St. N.E., Salem, Oregon.
Parking costs $3.