Held during Seattle’s Seafair in July, the Powwow averages 400–600 dancers in full regalia, 25 drum groups, and 10,000 spectators which come to celebrate the richness of the Native American culture.
For the past 31 years, the Seafair Indian Days Powwow has been a staple of the Seafair celebrations. Not long after Daybreak Star Cultural Center opened, United Indians began the annual tradition of hosting a Powwow. In the early years, huge crowds were drawn to Discovery Park to witness the celebrations and enjoy the food and art vendors who return year after year.
During the 2011 celebration, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn renamed the road leading up to Daybreak Star “Bernie Whitebear Way” in honor of the late activist and leader who made the Powwow what it is today. In his remarks at the naming ceremony, McGinn honored Whitebear, saying “He left a tradition in this town that we can all draw inspiration from. That people without power can have power.” With these words in mind, the Pow Wow continues to be a celebratory weekend of Native American heritage and culture.
By Joe Mabel (Photo by Joe Mabel) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons