The Gathering at the Falls Powwow celebrates 28 years

Dancers and people of all ages filled Riverfront Park this weekend for the 28th annual Gathering at the Falls Powwow.

While a celebration for many, it’s especially important for the Native Americans whose ancestors were the first to call Spokane home.

“For the Spokane Tribe, specifically, it’s our ancestral homeland, meaning in our creation stories this is where we began,” said Head Judge Dave Browneagle. “This is where we started.”

Browneagle says there are more than ten thousand Native Americans in Spokane. The powwow celebration isn’t just them coming back to celebrate, though. He says they never left.

“Fortunately for us as Spokane people, this is still home,” said Browneagle.

“We’re always here, our ancestors are always here, we have people that are buried around this area. We have places on the river and around this area where people used to camp.”

For one weekend every summer, those people gather to sing and dance at the Spokane River, which represents life, love and hope.

“All the people in the world, they have a connection with the water,” said Browneagle. “We have the same thing with the Spokane River. That’s our connection, that’s where in a sense we began.”

The celebration lasts until close to midnight on Saturday, and will continue Sunday.