The annual Cowlitz Indian Tribe Pow Wow is one of the largest in southern Washington and honors the spirit of all Cowlitz people. The one-day event features up to eleven drum groups and an average of one-hundred dancers, sometimes more, who dance to honor Cowlitz ancestors past and present. Dancers range from tiny tots to elders and include old style and new style. Grand entry time is at 1 pm and 7 pm. Every year is different and uniquely “Cowlitz!”
Head staff, honor drum, MC and AD help lead the event. Veterans are honored with a handmade item and thanked for their service, and throughout the day a wide variety of artisans and vendors showcase beautiful beadwork and native art. A crowd favorite is the salmon dinner, and there are two food vendors who sell meals throughout the event.
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is comprised of southwestern Coast Salish and Sahaptan people of the Pacific Northwest in southern Washington and have lived in this area since time immemorial. The Tribe’s expertise was building shovel-nosed canoes, carved in sizes to fit the needs of fishing, freight, large family visitations, harvest and any other needs. In addition to riverine navigators, the Cowlitz were skilled horse trainers and hauled horses across rivers, including the Columbia River.
Today, the Cowlitz flourish under a legacy rich with descendants who manage a growing portfolio of health, education, scientific research, housing, transportation, development, elder care, conservation and legal issues.