Audio story and Pictures by Candice Vialpando
With Reno growing and changing rapidly, it is important to remember original cultures in our area. The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, which was established in the early 1900s, recently hosted their annual Numaga Pow Wow. It’s an event named for Chief Numaga, a Paiute leader known for advocating peace. But in our deep, dark past, this type of celebration wasn't always allowed.
“(What) Uncle Sam decided was that native people shouldn’t practice their ceremonies, they shouldn't dance, they shouldn't have a drum," explains the colony's community information officer Stacey Montooth. "The federal government thought at that time the best thing to do was to make it against the law for native people to dance. So it’s hugely significant to all native people. We dance because our ancestors couldn’t. So it's really, really important, it's super powerful. Every part has meaning.”
There are now laws that protect the Native American people, laws which allow them to host annual Pow Wows.
As Reno currently rebrands and hurtles forward, many say holding onto this type of culture is as important as ever.
An attendee, Reno resident Kerry Brewster, expressed her concerns about the rapid growth that could change the biggest little city, and what could be lost.
“I see some changes where it is becoming more of a big city, which, it's a shame, but I really just hope instead that the people that come to this area are able to experience some of these things, instead of bringing the big city here, that they are able to adapt to learn more about what’s going on here.”
As the pow wow wrapped up, there was a prayer to be thankful for our daily lives and the spirit we all bring to our communities.