Spokane, Washington became a city in 1891. For hundreds of years, long before the City of Spokane existed, the Native People camped and fished at the falls on the Spokane River. The salmon would swim over the falls to go back to the their spawning ground. The young Indian men built ramps that would go out over the falls in order to catch the salmon. They would then pass the salmon over to the women and children waiting on the shore. The women and children would then clean the fish and lay them out to dry. Many families would come to the falls to share in the gathering of the salmon. It was a grand celebration of abundance and unity.
Spokane, Washington, Peaceful Valley, 1925
Monroe Street Bridge in the background
The Spokane area native people are blessed to host a Pow Wow and dance in this location, which is now Spokane’s Riverfront Park. Here, they continue to celebrate and honor the past. This beautiful and lively celebration is open to the public. For more information : Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow
Talking with Spokane’s Mayor, David Condon
I take part in this celebration almost every year. We dance to give thanks for the gift of the salmon, and the beauty of the rushing water; thanking our Creator for all that He gives to those of us who follow His path. The dances have been learned and passed on to people for many generations. This makes this a sacred place to gather with common unity.
Melvin Ellenwood, Tom Wesley, Howard Ball