A three-day festival to celebrate Indigenous culture is coming to Langley this weekend, and everyone is welcome.
The stɑl̓əw̓ Arts and Cultural Society’s pow wow will share, honour, and celebrate rich Indigenous culture, as well as build important and lasting connections, said Jayme Gabriel-Chan.
The society will be welcoming Indigenous groups from across Canada and the United States to Kwantlen First Nation land for the three-day ceremony. The event will be held at Langley Events Centre from Friday to Sunday, Sept. 16 to 18.
An event for people from all cultures, the upcoming pow wow is a competition between various groups competing for prize money, explained Gabriel-Chan of stɑl̓əw̓ Arts and Cultural Society.
With about 1,000 competing in singing, drumming, and dancing competitions, she said people can expect to get “fully engaged” in the artistic and cultural gifts of Indigenous people.
“These gifts demonstrate the intergenerational and interconnectedness of Indigenous culture through a variety of traditional dances and practices,” added Gabriel-Chan.
In addition to the various cultural programming, stɑl̓əw̓ will be hosting 50-plus Indigenous vendors and two food trucks present, all providing authentic Indigenous food, art and crafts for purchase.
A few things to know ahead of this weekend's Stalew Arts and Cultural Society Pow Wow pic.twitter.com/flNphOE8cz
— Langley Events Centre (@LangleyEvents) September 15, 2022
Phyllis Atkins, the program coordinator at the cultural society, explained that the pow wow ceremonies are integral to many Indigenous cultures and carry great importance in the community.
“There are two categories of pow wow,” shared Atkins, who hails from Kwantlen First Nation.
“The traditional one, and the competitive one,” she continued.
The tiny tots category will have kids six and younger perform, and the junior class will feature dancers between ages seven and 12. Teenagers and those between 18 and 54 will have a separate category, too.
Artists aged 55-plus will participate under the golden age category. Atkins shared that the head staff will judge the regalia of the group members, in addition to the dance moves or drum beats.
All except kids six and younger will compete for prize money.
Chan shared the society is also hoping to raise money for the non-profit organization. People can donate on-site or online at stalewpowwow.ca/donate.
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