The Tracy Intertribal Pow Wow, called “Honoring the Elders,” was held last month at Lincoln Park in the town of Tracy, which is outside of San Jose. In addition to being a first time for the pow wow, this event was special in that the Gay Pride flag was present alongside flags of the U.S. Military carried by the color guard during grand entry.
Mary Montes, Apache, of Grass Valley, California carried the Rainbow Flag.
The inclusion of the Rainbow or Gay Pride flag is a growing trend at pow wows, which signifies the pow wow is a safe space for individuals who are part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning, Asexual, and/or 2S (Two Spirit)+ community.
Vanessa Carerra, Tracy’s Public Information officer, expressed delight over the fact that the pow wow had included the LGBT+ flag.
“We are pleased that Tracy’s first Intertribal pow wow was well received and attended by the community. Tracy is a very inclusive community, and that’s reflected by the various cultural celebrations that take place here each year.”
One long-time resident told ICTMN, “Tracy has come a long way over the years.”
In addition to the dances for youth and adults to music played by the southern drum “Bear and Company”, an early afternoon Gourd Dance by the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society, and a performance by Aztec and Mixica Dancers, the pow wow featured a memorial wall where attendees could post pictures of family or community members who had passed.
Overall, the weather was beautiful; the skies were perfectly blue and a nice breeze provided some comfort to the dancers and singers.
Sam White Swan-Perkins is a journalist and business owner based out of Butte County, CA. He has been attending and participating in pow wows as a singer, dancer and committee member since 1992. Sam is also a member of the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society.