Tribe prepares to honor leader

SUQUAMISH — Visitors to this weekend’s Chief Seattle Days celebration will witness some new additions to the festival as well as a reemergence of old traditions, all in the name of honoring their ancestral leader.

As the result of a new coordinator, Miss Chief Seattle Days will not be the only royalty representative of the Suquamish Tribe at tribal events around the region — there will be five other kids, ranging in ages from 6 to 18, promoting the tribe’s proud traditions and culture.

Both boys and girls can now participate in the festival’s annual contest that will take place on Friday. The titles up for the taking are Miss Chief Seattle Days (girls ages 16-18), Warrior (boys ages 16-18), Junior Miss Chief Seattle Days (girls ages 11-15), Junior Warrior (boys ages 11-15), Lil’ Miss Chief Seattle Days (girls ages 6-10) and Lil’ Warrior (boys ages 6-10).

“The youth council felt it would give more (kids) a chance to participate,” said Chief Seattle Days coordinator Ed Midkiff, adding, “it would be more interesting to the people who would come and observe.”

Another addition to the event are the performances of the Suquamish Canoe Family Singers and Dancers, which will be all over the celebration grounds this weekend with their traditional performances, Midkiff said.

The purpose of the group is “to teach the culture and to participate in the culture as well,” he said. The group will make appearances at Chief Seattle’s memorial service and during the pow wow.

While there will be the usual sporting events, such as the canoe races and fun runs, Midkiff said the sports coordinators are bringing back an event from the very first Chief Seattle Days that took place 1911 — a baseball game. Except, this year, it will be a three-day Little League Tournament at Suquamish Elementary and the new ballfield on Suquamish Way. This event replaces the mens’ softball tournament.Friday, Aug. 20

5 p.m. — Little League Baseball Tournament

5 p.m. — Canoes leave Old Man House Park

5:30 p.m. — Canoes arrive at Celebration Grounds

6 p.m. — Miss Chief Seattle Days Pageant

8 - 11 p.m. — Teen dance

TBA — Fireworks display

Saturday, Aug. 21

9 a.m. — Flag raising

9:30 a.m. — Chief Seattle Memorial Service at his gravesite

10 a.m. — Little League Tournament continues

11 a.m. — Chief Seattle Days Parade

Noon — Pow Wow Grand Entry

12:30 p.m. — Welcoming by Tribal Chairman Benny Armstrong

1 p.m. — Canoe races start

2 p.m. — Old Man House recognition ceremony

2 p.m. — Anchia Dancers

3 p.m. — Alaskan Inuit Dancers and Singers

Evening — Pow Wow competition, Aztec Dancers, dinner, The Suquamish Canoe Family Singers and Dancers and colors retired

Sunday, Aug. 22

9:30 a.m. — Flag raising

10 a.m. — Little League Tournament continues

10 a.m. — Fun Run at information booth

10 a.m. — Elders Run at Celebration Grounds

11 a.m. — Canoe races

Noon — Grand Entry, Pow Wow, Aztec Dancers, The Suquamish Canoe Family Singers and Dancers, awards ceremony

5 p.m. — Colors retired, celebration ends

Attendees can park at Clearwater Casino and take a shuttle bus to the celebration grounds. The event is free and is a drug- and alcohol-free event.

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