NORTH FORK – The board of directors at the Sierra Mono Museum and Cultural Center has made the “difficult” decision to cancel the 50th annual Indian Fair Days and Pow Wow. “The event, planned for August 1-2, 2020, is canceled due to the public health emergency, COVID-19,” said a press release issued Thursday by tribal officials. “Planning a large event requires careful thought and consideration and measures will need to be in place to ensure public safety.”
In their statement, the Sierra Mono Museum board of directors said, “It is with a heavy heart that we must cancel our event. For over 49 years, we have come together to celebrate culture and traditions and we will miss seeing all of our vendors, dancers, cultural demonstrators, and friends and family.”
In recent years, the popular event has been held on the campus of Minarets High School, drawing hundreds of participants and spectators from around the state and country.
The Sierra Mono Museum and Cultural Center, established in 1970 in North Fork, is home to many historical and priceless artifacts. Thursday’s press release said the “silver lining” in the cancellation of this year’s Pow Wow and Indian Fair Days is that it “will provide the board of directors and volunteers additional time to plan, design, and implement exhibits in the brand-new and modernized facility that opens to visitors in the autumn of 2020.”
The major renovation and expansion project at the Sierra Mono Museum and Cultural Center, located adjacent to North Fork’s new roundabout, is being funded by a $605,000 federal grant.
“This cultural treasure curates exhibits of native fauna and flora, historical photographs, artistic baskets and interpretive moments of education,” the press release also stated. “The newly expanded and updated museum gives additional reverence to significant contributions of the Sierra Mono people of California.”
Donations to the museum are accepted year-round and smaller events, such as the membership dinner and storytelling, will be planned in accordance with Madera County guidance.
The Sierra Mono Museum and Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3 )nonprofit organization. It hosts the annual Indian Fair Days and Pow Wow to promote culture and awareness while raising funds for museum operations.