NORTH FORK – The 45th anniversary of the Sierra Mono Museum’s Indian Fair Days and Pow Wow, one of the longest running Pow Wows in California, has been cancelled this year due to the Willow Fire burning near North Fork.
The event was scheduled for this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1 – 2 at the North Fork Recreation Center. Organizers say the event is cancelled and unable to be rescheduled at this time.
This cancellation is not a first for the historic Pow Wow; last year’s event was rescheduled due to the French Fire. The Committee had high hopes for this year, but last night’s Town Hall meeting provided further information leading to the change.
“We just finished our emergency meeting about the fire,” the Pow Wow committee and museum staff explained on their Facebook page.
“Due to health and safety issues caused by the fire and bad air, as well as our venue being used to house firefighters during this emergency, the Pow Wow had to be cancelled. We were unable reschedule the Pow Wow to a later date. However, we will be holding the raffle and crowning our Princesses on Saturday, Aug. 8, during the North Fork Car Show.”
North Fork is home to many members of the Mono tribe, who have lived in the Sierra Nevada area for centuries. Organizers at the Sierra Mono Museum say the origins of pow wow have risen from economic, social, and cultural experiences of many Native American tribes. These cultural celebrations provide opportunities for people to come together in song and dance, make friends, renew old alliances, and enjoy arts and crafts.
For many, pow wows have spiritual and religious significance, and nowadays they are intertribal, with older ways brought forth into the present day and age, helping to solidify Indian communities and promote traditional customs.
The Indian Fair Days and Pow Wow is the largest fundraising event for the Sierra Mono Museum. The Museum is a non-profit and is run by a Board of Directors that are all Mono descendents.