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Tribes, MSD hold Christmas Powwow

 

Christopher Andersson

Drummers at the coastal jam at the third annual Christmas Powwow and Coastal Jam on Dec. 17.

The Tulalip Tribes and Marysville School District got together for their third annual Christmas Powwow and Coastal Jam on Dec. 17.

The night at the Marysville Tulalip Campus is filled with plains-style powwow singing and dancing, vendors selling art and other items, free food, presents for children from Toys for Tots and pictures with Santa Claus.

The event is meant to provide a good community get-together before local students head to break.

"The Marysville School District's Indian Education Department teamed up with Tulalip Youth Services to have, as we go to break, something good and positive for our kids culturally," said Terrance Sabbas, a Native American liaison with the Marysville School District.

Sabbas said the event was meant to be some fun for families and children before their break from school.

"We love the kids. We want them to enjoy themselves and get some toys and just feel good," he said.

The Christmas Powwow and Coastal Jam was started in part because the Indian Education Department at the district was hoping to create a powwow event for Tulalip students.

"When it first started we teamed up and we wanted to put on a powwow, and we decided Christmas break would be a great time," said Sabbas.

This also gives people who want a community event before the break a good chance to participate in one, he said.

"Sometimes it's hard for not only our kids, but our community if they're missing a loved one during the break, so we wanted something positive, something uplifting," that could bring together the community, said Sabbas.

Schana Odell came to the event because she said she likes to participate in Native American events in the community.

Odell is northern Cheyenne and said she learned about the event because her daughter was in the Native American Club at her school.

"I think the event is great. I like the vendors, that's my favorite. I love to be able to go around because I wear a lot of native jewelry and I like to support local artists," she said.

Christopher Andersson

Genesee Odell picks one of the free gifts available from Toys for Tots at the third annual Christmas Powwow and Coastal Jam on Dec. 17.

The Coastal Jam is a "plains-style powwow" said Sabbas. "It's just a celebration of song and dance," he said.

It also serves as a way to "honor our host," the Tulalip Tribes, said Sabbas.

Sabbas himself is a powwow singer, with about 27 years of experience, and said he enjoys bringing those experiences with him, "but also just paying tribute to our host," he said.

The event also serves as a way for the Tulalip Youth Advocates and Native American liaisons to connect with local families.

"It's a way for us to give back to the community and let our presence be known," said Sabbas. "They can come see us and know we do care, and practice our native culture," he said.

 

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