Community members are invited to the fifth annual Christmas Powwow on Dec. 15 to see traditional Native dancing, receive some holiday gifts and much more.
The event is put on by the Marysville School District's Indian Education Department and Tulalip Youth Services.
The Christmas Powwow is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Marysville Tulalip Campus’ Francis Sheldon Gym at 7204 27th Ave. NE, Tulalip.
The grand entry is at 6 p.m. “That is when all of the dancing really starts,” said Matt Remle, a Native liaison with the Marysville School District and one of the main organizers of the event.
The Native dancing comes from the traditions of the northern plains Native Americans, said Remle.
“I think that people like that we keep the focus on traditional powwows. So there’s no competition involved and it’s just to have fun,” he said.
The event also partners with Toys for Tots to give presents for children up to age 17.
Holiday photos with Santa and presents are available at “Santa’s Workshop” which is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the event.
“I like seeing all the kids getting gifts,” said Remle. “They’re already excited for this time of year as well,” he said.
A free dinner is also available at the event.
Remle said the holidays can be a stressful time for some families “so if we can go out and provide some gifts and some food, that is a good thing,” he said.
A cakewalk will also be held at the powwow, along with space for vendors, which Remle said are mostly Native locals selling crafts and art pieces.
Remle said it was good to hold local powwows like this one.
“I’ve worked in the district for 15 years now and we used to have powwows but we stopped for a while,” he said.
The first Christmas Powwow came after the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting.
“It really came out in the aftermath of the tragedy that happened at M-P in 2014,” said Remle.
“One student asked me if I knew of any upcoming powwows at the time, and there wasn’t, but I said we could make something happen,” he said.
District officials and Tulalip officials worked to provide something positive for local families at the time, he said.
“We knew that going into the holiday right after that was going to be hard,” he said.
The Christmas Powwow has now been held for five years.
“The response was awesome so we have kept it up all these years,” said Remle. “We’ve had a pretty amazing turnout the last couple of years."
Remle invites anyone from the community to the powwow, even if they’re not Native.
“Anybody is welcome to come down. You don’t have to be from the tribal community,” he said.