Last weekend was a really busy one for me.
Friday night, Bill and I were invited to a dinner hosted by the Erskine Wood family at their home on the Columbia River. They have held this dinner for the last several years to welcome the Nez Perce tribe to Vancouver. Pat Jollota was invited to attend and she was allowed to bring guests so she took us there. There is a longstanding history between the Wood family and the Nez Perce tribe. Erskine's great grandfather befriended Chief Joseph and his son, also named Erskine, was sent to live with Chief Joseph for two seasons. Later, Erskine would invite the Nez Perce to his home-the same one we had dinner at-when they had business to attend to in Portland.
When Erskine lived with Chief Joseph, he asked the Chief what he wanted for a thank you gift and the response was a stallion. The young man didn't tell his father and always regretted that the promise was never fulfilled. Twenty years ago, his descendants purchased an Appaloosa stallion to present to the tribe in the Wallowa Mountains. Since that time, the family has befriended members of the tribe and welcome them as old friends and continue the tradition started by their grandfathers.
The evening was so pleasant that we decided to eat outside. As we ate, we watched some osprey in their nest on the river. That provided some pleasant entertainment during dinner. Later, the drummers started singing and gifts were presented. They also asked Sage--a member of the Wood family-to drum with them.
For the last twenty years, the Nez Perce have come to Vancouver to hold a memorial ceremony. The Chief Red Heart Band was imprisoned at Vancouver Barracks from 1877-1878. They didn't fight. They just wanted to stay on their land. While they were imprisoned, the two year old son of Little Bear died. In 1998, Mayor Royce Pollard reached out to the Nez Perce asking if they were interested in a reconciliation ceremony between them, the city and the Army. The tribe had reservations about it but it apparently was a good experience because they have been coming back every year since then.
I have been to one other ceremony. I don't remember when. But the ceremony consists of honoring those that were imprisoned there and the baby that died. Gifts are always given to the youngest child and a two year old child that attends the ceremony. When Sage (the young man I mentioned that was asked to be an honorary drummer) was a young baby, he was the one to receive the Indian baby blanket that year. Veterans are honored and given gifts. There is a Riderless Horse ceremony, smoking of the peace pipe, etc. It was raining so hard just prior to the ceremony that I almost didn't go at all. And the riders didn't wear their ceremonial headdresses and attire so that they wouldn't get ruined. That was a little disappointing from a selfish photographic standpoint but certainly understandable.
I wanted to go to the meal put on after the ceremony and I did wait for awhile but with as much as I had going on that day, I ended up leaving before the meal was served.
Saturday night was the Share Gala at Warehouse 23. Bill works with them frequently on videos for their fundraising events so we got a table and invited a few friends. The theme was Vintage Vegas which was fun. There were performances by a local talent who does music from that time period as well as from the Fabulous Brunettes-a group of women who made a comeback from their Glamorous Gams competition a few years ago-and a Vancouver Rat Pack that included our mayor and a mayoral candidate this year. They had gaming tables for script setup after the dinner and auction were done as well. Fun evening.
Very busy but very fun weekend!