Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 7, 2002 - Issue 69


pictograph divider


Klamath Tribes Celebrate Restoration

by Ryan Harper Herald and News
Klamath BasketHundreds of people from all over the West gathered at the high school in Chiloquin Saturday to drum, dance or just watch the action at the Klamath Tribes Restoration Celebration.

The three-day event, which continues today, is part of the 16th annual Klamath Tribes Restoration Celebration.

The event recognizes the federal government’s 1986 restoration of tribal status for the Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin band of Snake River Indians.

The tribes signed a treaty with the federal government in 1864, but federal recognition was terminated in 1954, and for more than 30 years the tribes did not officially exist.

This weekend’s powwow is a celebration of the return of that official identity and helps to carry on a culture that was once in danger of disappearing.

“We were stripped of being who we were,” said powwow Chairman Marc McNair. “Being restored brings back being a Native American again.”

Saturday afternoon, McNair estimated there were about 100 dancers in full regalia participating in the event, with several drum groups providing the music and hundreds of spectators ringing the field.

He also said the celebration provides a positive, drug- and alcohol-free forum for kids to learn about what it means to be a Native American and establish cultural connections that will last a lifetime.

“It’s better for them ... they get to make friends,” he said. “We’re trying to get our youth involved more and more each year.”

Irvin Wilson, 18, comes out every year to participate in the powwow. He sees it as a chance to celebrate his tribal identity with his family and learn more about the native culture in a fun environment.

“I’m having a great time,” he said.

But the event was by no means limited to members of the Klamath Tribes. Native American dancers and drummers from all over the West and Canada came to Chiloquin for the powwow. They ranged in skill from beginners to champions, and McNair said he was impressed with the turnout.

“They’re just from all over,” he said. “It’s a non-contest powwow and they all came anyway.”

Marty Pinnecoose, a Southern Ute from Ignacio, Colo., who now lives in Salem, came down to participate in the grass dance.

The grass dance, he said, is traditionally the first dance, when the dancers come in to stomp down the grass and ask a blessing on the arena before the powwow begins.

“You’re clearing the way for the celebration to happen,” he said.

Pinnecoose tries to come down every year, but this year is special because he’s dancing to honor his friend Mangus Bettles, a Klamath Tribal member who died last year.

“I’m here to dance, and dance for my friend Mangus,” he said.

Audie Noneo, a Paiute from Cedarville, Calif., comes up to Chiloquin every year his firefighting job allows. This year he brought his young son, and he said that events like this will help to teach him the importance of tradition and respect.

“Words can’t describe it,” he said. “It makes me feel good just being here, seeing old friends.”

McNair, who works in tribal health services, said he and tribal members work on the celebration all year, and they’re always looking for more community support to help them put it together.

“We’re looking forward to having this grow next year,” he said.

Chiloquin, OR Map
Maps by Travel

pictograph divider


Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!