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Cultural Awareness Gathering set for next week


Students of all ages in the Lake Roosevelt and Nespelem School Districts will attend a Cultural Awareness Gathering next week. The event highlights many aspects of Native American culture.

The event, which started in 2005, is held every two years. This year, it will be held on the Lake Roosevelt football field in Coulee Dam on Thursday, Sept. 21.

“We realized that our school is over 60 percent Native American and we weren’t really putting any effort into showcasing our culture, so we wanted an opportunity for the kids to share and learn what they have,” said Kim Stanger, one of the organizers, on starting the event in 2005. Stanger said that 56 different American Indian tribes are represented within ancestry of the student bodies of the two school districts.

The event, which runs from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., will feature lots of educational and interactive activities, including archery, stick games and other indigenous games, a powwow with traditional drumming and dancing, the setting up of a couple of teepees, lots of crafts, as well as booths from the Colville Tribes Language and Fish & Wildlife departments. There will also be anti-bullying and suicide prevention programs.

The powwow starts at 1 p.m. and Indian tacos will be sold, along with other refreshments for lunch.

Stanger said she hopes students walk away from the experience “having a better understanding of our rich Native American culture.”

Stanger was helped in organizing the event by Karrie Utz, Annette Timentwa and Lisa Carson, along with Nespelem School staff and the Colville Tribes programs.

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