Sacred Visions Powwow a success at Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation
WADSWORTH, Nev. — The ninth annual Sacred Visions Powwow kicked off on July 21 and continued through the weekend, attracting hundreds of dancers and thousands of spectators.
The powwow is held each year on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation in Wadsworth, Nevada — located roughly a half hour east of Reno — during the second-to-last weekend in July.
“This powwow brings people from all over together to share and celebrate our culture,” said Gordon Dodd, Sacred Visions Powwow Chairman, during a July 21 interview at the powwow with First Nation’s Focus.
Each year, the Sacred Visions Powwow attracts over 260 dancers and more than 3,000 people, according to the event’s website, and helps support the local economies of Pyramid Lake and Northern Nevada.
“From inside my heart, I wanted to have something where our people could gather to celebrate happier times, instead of only coming together in times of mourning,” said Dodd.
So, a decade ago, a four-person powwow committee got together and created their plan of action for the event.
After a months of hard work and dedication, the small group was ready to host the first-ever Sacred Visions Powwow in July of 2009. With the arbor constructed and powwow grounds ready to go, the last thing to do was come up with name for the powwow.
“When we chose the name, we thought about ‘what is a vision,’ and how the Stone Mother has her legend,” said Dodd. “What we see from that vision is bringing the people back from the four directions, bringing back the people (the Stone Mother) sent out, and that’s how we came up with the Sacred Visions Powwow.”
Throughout the years, the powwow has brought many people from from all across the Western United States together.
Over 20 food and craft vendors were in attendance this year, and people also took part in this year’s fun run, parade, hand games, and junior rodeo.
“Next year is the 10th annual, so we want to make that one exceptionally special for the people,” said Joyce McCauley, secretary of Sacred Visions Powwow committee, during an interview at this year’s event.
Year after year, the only goal of the powwow is bring everyone together to celebrate, dance, sing and share their Native American culture.
“It’s all for the people,” said Dodd. “That would be the vision, the sacred vision.”
Jarrette Werk (Aaniiih) is a journalism student at the University of Nevada, Reno, who worked this summer for the Sierra Nevada Media Group as an intern, writing and taking photos for First Nation’s Focus.
With the Nevada Indian Commission’s offices located on the Stewart Indian School campus, Stacey Montooth is reminded every day of the culture and lands she is working to preserve and the welfare of her people she is striving to improve.