Local high school and college graduates traded their robes for regalia last week during Salish Kootenai College’s annual Spring Powwow and Graduate Honoring.
Featuring drumming, dancing and a grand march that filled the Joe McDonald Gym floor, the ceremony paid tribute to the scholastic achievements of students across the valley.
“This is a celebration,” Salish Kootenai College President Sandra Boham said. “We are going to celebrate this college and all of the graduates.”
Kicking off Friday night’s grand entry, Stormie Perdash of the Shoshone Bannock Tribes in Fort Hall, Idaho, was crowned winner of the Miss SKC pageant contest.
SKC Student Body President ShiNaasha Pete followed with a speech praising the students’ achievements and thanking the college officials for their support.
“I want to thank everyone,” she said.
The powwow featured head female dancer and SKC social work student Clara Charlie as well as the college’s resident celebrity Jonathon Brewer, who played a leading role in the Mel Gibson movie “Apocalypto.”
The festivities were a delight for local residents Tom Needham and Barbara Legoo.
A graduate of Ronan High School’s class of 1951, Needham said he appreciated the recognition and camaraderie on display. He said events like the Graduate Honoring were not available when he was in school.
“It’s good to see,” Needham said.