Support Traditional Nez Perce Culture at the Tamkaliks Celebration
Lisa J. Ellwood
The public will have a chance to celebrate traditional Nez Perce culture this weekend as the Wallowa Band Nez Perce will celebrate their ongoing presence in the Wallowa Valley of Oregon via their Tamkaliks Celebration and Potluck.
The event began in 1990 as the Wallowa Band Nez Perce Pow Wow and Friendship Potluck when City of Wallowa officials approached the late Taz E. E. Conner, descendent of Old Chief Joseph (Tuekakas), to assist them with organizing a Native American festival. The event’s name changed to Tamkaliks, “from where you can see the mountains”, when it moved to the prospective site of the new Wallowa Band Nez Perce Trail Interpretive Center in 1998.
For the Wallowa Nez Perce, the Tamkaliks celebration is an opportunity to honor and learn about traditional Nez Perce culture in the spirit of friendship.
“For three days we have traditional Native American songs and dances. The traditional wear of the dancers is spectacular,” Tamkaliks Co-Founder Terry Crenshaw explains on the tribal nation’s website. “Outside the dance area we have 20-25 concessionaires selling food, Native American crafts and other items. Along the river the participants camp during the powwow, many setting up teepees. The sight of teepees along the river after many years’ absence is awe inspiring.
See related article: We Are Still Here: The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation 38th Annual Pow Wow.
“On the last day of the festival, we have the friendship potluck. The Native American community provides salmon, deer and elk, a local rancher provides buffalo and locals bring potluck dishes. For the deer and elk a group of Indians come early and exercise their treaty rights by hunting for the game for the feast. A local committee prepares the fish and game. At last year’s’ feast we fed over 600 people. We have speeches, songs, and prayers at the feast.
“As time goes on we have had more and more contact between the locals and Indians and we are beginning to see true friendships form because of this event with each year garnering greater attendance and support.”
“Tamkaliks Celebration Pow Wow” Profile – 2012
“Let The Children Dance” – Tamkaliks 2016
See related article: Two Shots From That Cannon: The History and Significance of the Duck and Dive
Here is a select list of pow wows happening across Turtle Island July 21st through July 24th:
Nez Perce 27th Annual Tamkaliks Celebration & Friendship Potluck, July 21-23
Tamkaliks Pow Wow Ground
70956 Whiskey Creek Road
Wallowa, OR 97885
For more information visit the Wallowa Nez Perce website or Facebook page.
Wolf Creek 5th Annual Pow Wow, July 21-23
Bland County Fairgrounds
123 Fairgrounds Street
Bland, VA 24615
For more information visit the Near River Dwellers website or
Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum Facebook page.
Howard County (MD) Native American Pow Wow, July 22-23
Howard County Fairgrounds
2210 Fairgrounds Road
West Friendship, MD 21794
For more information visit the Howard County (MD) Native American Pow Wow web listing.
Check out our Pow Wow listings here (updates ongoing).
Attention Pow Wow organizers:
You can also update your information on our pow wow email list. By adding your email, you’ll enable us to contact you on select pow wow updates & announcements. We will only send a few emails each year, and it will only be used by our internal pow wow team. Add your email for the pow wow email list here: http://eepurl.com/bOY8ir
If you are not a pow wow organizer, please be sure to send them this article.