Celebration of the past and present

A celebration of life, culture and history

Starting July 14 on the grounds of Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School will be three days of fun, food and dance festivities at the second annual summer powwow.

Last year’s event put on by the Four Seasons Cultural Society was a 15-year dream come true for Kristine Jack in memory of her mother Clara Jack.

Before she passed away in 2001, Clara told her daughter that instead of a traditional memorial, she wanted her to restore the traditional powwow back to its original glory.

Clara was a member of the Four Seasons War Dance Club which put on the annual dance celebrations from 1971 to 1978.

“This was something I had wanted to do for the last 15 years but life just sort of got in the way,” said Kristine, who was busy raising seven children of her own during that time.

“I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who came and helped us celebrate our first powwow last year honouring the Four Seasons War Dance Club which is where we’ve branched off and got our name.

“Mother was a big part of the Four Seasons War Dance Club. She really steered them in a positive seven years direction of that pow wow and then she got crippled with arthritis and I think everybody felt her presence was gone but her presence was back last year, loud and proud.”

Also in her mom’s memory and at the suggestion of a Penticton Indian Band elder, Kristine went back to school and will be following in Clara’s footsteps as an aboriginal language and preschool teacher.

“With that comes wanting the children to be involved, the youth to be a part of it,” said Kristine.

“We want to keep these memories alive and that can only be done through our children.”

This year’s honourees are four pioneer women of the band and although some have passed as long as 50 years ago, Kristine feels their contributions are still very much relevant today, including those of one of the honourees she knew very well.

“That was my grandma Edna Jack, who raised me,” said Kristine.

The other three are Matilda Gabriel, Louisa Lazard and Julia Manuel.

“They were all pillars in our community and we really want to show the youth and the children today that there are a lot of women who have made a mark in this community,” she said.

“The culture, the tradition, the language, we really want our community to go back and remember where we got that all from.”

There will be dance competitions at all levels from tiny tots to golden agers with sponsorship from city businesses making the entire event possible added the organizer.

During the three days, there will be four grand entries, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and matinees Saturday and Sunday at noon. There will be a free feast Saturday night.

Entry fee is $5 a day or $10 for the weekend and on-site camping is also at no charge.