Basil family hosts the Final Yvonne Basil Memorial Powwow.

After 13 continuous years of hosting powwows, the Basil family has decided 2024 will be the last year.

The Basil family hosted the powwows to commemorate Yvonne Basil. “My mom passed away in 2010 and later in the year our family decided to host the pow in remembrance and honour of her because she liked to dance and she liked to listen to the drums,” said Yvonne’s daughter, Gina Basil.

“She was very community oriented, she was a council member for Lower Nicola Indian Band when she passed away, and she was a big part of the powwow circle when I was younger, we used to travel a lot,” said Gina. “She was always striving to be a positive role model and better not only herself and lives of her children, but the lives of everybody.”

Gina believes that her mother “would have loved” the powwows in her memory.

“We host a traditional powwow, so it is open to everybody. We don’t charge any admission and it’s just to bring people together, to celebrate Indigenous culture, whether you’re singing or dancing or just spectating and being together,” said Gina.

Gina hopes that her mother’s memorial powwows can leave behind a legacy that promotes togetherness, unity and celebration of a positive lifestyle.

Yvonne Basil Memorial Powwows drew people down to the Nicola Valley all the way from Chilliwack up to Williams Lake and beyond. “We usually plan to feed approximately 400 people at dinners,” said Gina.

Despite the positive impacts, the Basil family has decided 2024 would be the Final Yvonne Basil Memorial Powwow which ran from May 31 until June 2.

“They went good, we had successful powwows every year, we had people come from close and fair,” said Gina. “It’s a lot of work, we have to do fundraisers and ask for donations. Our lives have changed since then and it’s too much work that we can do.”