A steady cadence was kept by drums Friday evening as the sun slowly began to set, marking the second night of the 40th annual Standing Arrow Powwow.
Held on July 13-16 at the Elmo Powwow Grounds on U.S. Highway 93, the gathering saw dancers, drummers, vendors and visitors from across the continent.
Lloyd Irvine, vice president of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Council, said that the powwow was a celebration for warriors in addition to tribal members celebrating culture, as he stood off to the side as the event began to take shape Friday evening.
Tribal members of all ages wore traditional garb, competing for a prize of $200, Irvine said. The grand entrance, a parade of members entering the pavilion, started just before 8 p.m. with a prayer that was not allowed to be photographed or video recorded.
To show respect, everyone in the stands was asked to stand and remove hats without feathers while the prayers were sung.
Dressed in a beige-colored leather vest with beaded adornment, Irvine said the Elmo powwow is unlike others in the circuit as organizers keep the celebration smaller and “intimate.”
During the powwow, bands made up of multiple drummers provided the music for the procession, lead by tribal leaders.
Surrounding the large wooden pavilion that Irvine said was constructed about 12 years ago are campgrounds. In the future, Irvine said that it is a goal to have an area for recreational vehicles overlooking the lake. Families pitched tents and some stayed in tipis and campers during the weekend celebration.
There are approximately 8,000 enrolled tribal members, Irvine said.