Yaqan Nuki Pow-wow
Annual Yaqan Nuki Pow-Wow
“Honouring our Elders”
Located at the Lower Kootenay Complex off Hwy 21, Creston, BC
For more information phone: 250-428-4428
Yaqan Nuki Pow-Wow
It’s an honour to attend!
Written by Debby Johnson
A rhythmic beat rises above the land from the heart of the Creston Valley. Its grounding effect instils reverence for all life within those who choose to listen. Interestingly, honouring is a practice that forms a part of the Yaqan Nuki Pow Wow.
This traditional Pow Wow is one of only a few left in North America. All the rest have chosen to incorporate competition, changing the nature of the Pow Wows, as explained by PCSS Grade 11 student Misty Louie, daughter of Jason and Angie Louie the Pow Wow’s previous year’s organizers. This Pow Wow is a gathering of nations.
Misty proudly explains that the Yaqan Nuki Pow Wow has many different dances and many of them are performed to honour someone or celebrates an accomplishment. She tells me that each year the Yaqan Nuki Pow Wow caters to approximately 150 dancers. Misty hopes to perform at the next Pow Wow. She wants to do a “Give Away” which is a special honouring dance that comes from her Crow ancestors on her mother’s side. She wants to honour her mother, grandmother and the rest of her family.
The Yaqan Nuki Pow Wow attracts over 1000 people over the May long weekend. Special guests are recognized at the Pow Wow, like Creston’s mayor. Misty says everyone is invited to come and enjoy themselves at no charge. Besides local residents attending there are many people who come from other BC communities, Alberta, Montana, Idaho and Washington. Each year special host drummers are invited to open the ceremony. Misty explains that each Pow Wow has a different theme. Last year the theme honoured their warriors and veterans.
Locals who have attended The Yaqan Nuki Pow Wow enjoyed themselves immensely and often speak about their experience for weeks. More importantly for us locals, this Pow Wow creates a place for connecting and relating that would be missed if it ceased to exist.
Residents of the Creston Valley are proud of the Yaqan Nuki tribe (Lower Kootenay Band) and also of our valley’s youth which Misty happens to be a fine example of. I would like to thank Misty for describing the Yaqan Nuki Pow Wow to me and helping me understand a few of the Yaqan Nuki tribe’s traditions.