Ninth Annual Neerchokikoo Powwow – A Celebration of Culture and Community

Ninth Annual Neerchokikoo Powwow – A Celebration of Culture and Community

“Some reports say that the word, Powwow, has its origin from the Pawnee word, pa-wa, meaning, “to eat.” Other sources say the word is of Algonquin origin and was originally pronounced pauau, which indicates a gathering of people for the purpose of celebration or an important event. In any case, it is a special time to gather and celebrate, meet old friends and create new friendships!” – Your Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Powwows, thanks to Murton McCluskey, Ed.D.

Drums, and dancers, and fry bread! Oh my! A wonderful time was had by all, as hundreds of community members, Native artisans and volunteers gathered at NAYA for our Ninth Annual Neerchokikoo Powwow.

The beating of drums could be felt throughout the day, while dancers from many tribes proudly showed us the customary steps of their ancestors. The arena was resplendent with the color of beautiful regalia, and the sounds of laughter could be heard all around. The marketplace featured over 30 local artisans and vendors, showcasing and selling their handcrafted wares. In the evening, the community was treated to a delicious salmon dinner provided by our friends at the Future Generations Collaborative.

This year, we also had a special opportunity to welcome Deb Haaland, Democratic candidate from New Mexico and likely to be the first Native American woman to serve in the U.S. Congress—as our special guest. A role model for our youth, her powerful words inspired future indigenous leaders while asking the community to exercise their right and Get Out the Native Vote!

We also took time to honor and recognize those individuals and groups that have made important contributions toward our growth and success in the past year, improving our ability to strengthen Portland’s Native Community.

Thanks to the amazing support of our community members and volunteers, and the dedication of NAYA staff, the Ninth Annual Neerchokikoo Powwow was a memorable one:

Head Staff:
M.C.: Gilbert Brown, Klamath/Modoc/Paiute/Warm Springs
Arena Director: Frank Goes Behind, Nooksack (WA)
Color Guard: Local Honored Veterans
Head Woman: Eva Angus, Nez Perce/Cayuse/Tlingit/Haida
Head Man: Odo Ishkiin, Shoshone-Bannock/Apache
Host Drum: Four Directions

Special thanks to our Powwow sponsors—Pacific Office Automation, Northwest Area Foundation and Umpqua Bank—whose generous support made this day possible. And, a huge thank you to Killer Tacos, who tirelessly made fry bread, Indian Tacos and world class posole into the dark of night and donated the proceeds to assure that yet another Powwow was nourished and strong.