ARLEE — The annual Arlee Schools Powwow was renamed the Arlee High School Graduation Celebration in honor the AHS graduating class. The name has changed but the good vibrations remained the same. The all-school powwow celebration once again brought together the entire school body for a day to honor and appreciate the differences among all, differences that make the world a better place to live.
Not present at this year’s powwow celebration was the usual emcee Stephan SmallSalmon. He was away at the annual bitterroot dig and feast. In his stead was Allen Pierre, who was also the head men’s dancer, who along with head women dancer Myrna Dumontier followed the honor guard in the grand entry at the new school gymnasium. They were followed by a colorful entourage of dancers of various ages. And once the dancing started in earnest the dancers in regalia were joined by folks in street clothing.
It was, judging by the participation and smiles, an inter-racial cultural celebration of joy that danced to the beat of the drum and the enduring culture of the tribal people of the Flathead Nation and beyond.
There were four drums taking turns providing the beat and songs: the Round Butte Agency, NÂusm, Red Horn and Red Sand. They all brought their special takes to the power of the drum that enhances the power of the people.
Emcee Pierre said the name change in honor of AHS seniors of the school powwow celebration would from now on be known as the Arlee High School Graduation Celebration as a tribute to their educational achievements.
This AHS Class of 2019, are: Darshan Bolen, Tomi Brazill, Louetta Conko-Camel, Nathaniel Coulson, James CrazyBoy, Nellie Desjarlais, Jerome Felix, Isaac Fisher, Chase Gardner, Donovin Hanken, Lane Johnson, Jason Miller, Ashley Potts, Adrian Reyez, Ezra Roan, Terrance Roan, Sydni Rogers, Gage Sanchez, Megan Sansavere, Edward Schall, Hailey Shepherd, Tomie Thomas, Skyler Titsworth, Alyssia Vanderburg, Noelle West, Gregory Whitesell and Frankie Wright.
These young women and men will soon have the world’s oyster and their destinies in their hands. What their final destinations are is yet to be determined. However, they should be thankful that they have a full tank of learning fueled by the Arlee school system to guide them.