Calling all nations to Suquamish
June 10, 2008 · Updated 7:58 PM
SUQUAMISH When the ownership of Old Man House Park was transferred to the Suquamish Tribe in June, Chief Seattle Days organizer Ed Midkiff was inspired by a remark made by Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman: Today is a good day to be Suquamish.
Midkiff took that phrase and made it the theme for Chief Seattle Days, which takes place for the 95th time Aug. 19-21 in downtown Suquamish.
I thought that was kind of poetic to be able to say that, Midkiff explained.
Everyone is a native of some place, he said, whether they are from America, Europe or beyond, but everyone comes from somewhere.
Thats what the celebration is its an invitation for all nations to come and visit our nation, he said.
To help drive home the importance of the theme, Midkiff invited the Le-La-La Dancers of British Columbia, Canada to perform Aug. 20 during the festival.
While local Native American traditional regalia consists of button blankets, cedar-woven hats and handmade drums, the Le-La-La dancers incorporate the use of hand-carved and elaborately decorated masks.
We havent had mask dancers before, Midkiff said. Those masks are used in ceremonial dances for like weddings up in the northern part of our country (and) Canada.
Midkiff encouraged neighbors from all over the area to join the festivities next weekend.
Its a gathering saying, We are all neighbors, we are all welcome, come have a barbecue only were having salmon, he said with a laugh.
The festival is free and open to the public. Vendors selling both goods and food will be in downtown Suquamish that weekend. Elders will lead the annual memorial service at 9 a.m. Saturday at Chief Seattles grave site followed by the parade at 11 a.m.
The weekends schedule includes:
5 p.m. Little League baseball tournament at Suquamish Elementary
5 p.m. Canoes leave Old Man House Park
6 p.m. Miss Chief Seattle Days Pageant
8-11 p.m. Teen Dance
Dusk Fireworks display
9 a.m. Memorial Service at Chief Seattle Grave
10 a.m. Little League tournament continues, volleyball tournament starts
11 a.m. Chief Seattle Days Parade begins
Noon Pow wow Grand Entry
12:30 p.m. Welcome from Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman
1 p.m. Canoe races start
2 p.m. The Suquamish Canoe Family Singers
3 p.m. Alaskan Inuit Dancers and Singers, pow wow competition
Dinner Le-La-La Dancers, a First Nations traditional dance group
Fireworks display, pow wow until midnight
10 a.m. Little League and volleyball tournaments continue
10 a.m. Fun run and elders run
11 a.m. Canoe races start
Noon Grand Entry, pow wow continues, Aztec Dancers, The Suquamish Family Canoe Dancers, award ceremony
5 p.m. Celebration ends