As Family Day approaches, anticipation builds for the vibrant and culturally rich Powwow set to take place in Merritt.

The two-day event is intended to celebrate First Nations’ culture, traditions, music, regalia and art. On Feb. 17 and 18, Nicola Valley residents will be able to gather at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology to have a great time.

“It is a way to celebrate all of our different stories, songs and dances throughout all the First Nations tribes, because we’re all different,” said Gary Abbott, organizer of the Family Day Powwow. “We have different languages, we have different songs, we have different stories. It’s just a great way to share and hear those (stories).”

The Powwow will feature a number of different dances and regalia, including the intertribal dancing. “It’s called intertribal because we invite all the people onto the floor,” he said. “You don’t need to be in regalia and you don’t even need to be First Nations.”

Abbott added that the event is not only a celebration of culture but also a platform for dialogue and education. It aims to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of Indigenous heritage.

“We really try to make a point of educating the people who attend Powwows so that they have a deeper understanding (in our culture), because that’s really what it’s about,” he said. “It’s (about) being able to pass on our knowledge to the next generation.

The Powwow will also serve as a marketplace for authentic First Nations arts and crafts, a unique chance for attendees who wish to support local artisans.

Whether attendees come to participate, learn, or simply soak in the vibrant drums that will echo through the Nicola Valley, the Powwow promises an unforgettable experience for all who attend.


Family Day Powwow 

When: Feb. 17 – at 1 p.m. and round dance at 7 p.m.; Feb. 18 – at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Where: Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) – 4155 Belshaw St., Merritt, B.C.