The Return of the Nez Perce Encampment Pavilion during Chief Joseph Days

The First Nez Perce Pow Wow

Since the covid-19 outbreak in 2020.

Reunited at last!

Once again and to the joy of tribal members and visitors alike, the Nez Perce gathered in Joseph to share their culture and traditions during the week of Chief Joseph Days. Natives as much as non-natives are welcome to come to the Encampment Pavilion east of the rodeo arena for the Annual Friendship Feast and Traditional Indian Dance Contests. 

Click on image to view large picture

Click on image to view large picture

Pow Wows

are an important part of the Native American culture. It is the Native American people’s way of getting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones. It is a time to renew Native American culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians. 
Until COVID-19 interrupted everyone’s life, the big Nez Perce POW WOW called Tamkaliks takes place always the weekend before Chief Joseph Days in Wallowa, Oregon. 

The friendship feast. Salmon, Buffalo, and uncountable side dishes including traditional Native American ones were served to the delight of Natives and visitors. It was another great opportunity to see old friends and make new ones after we had been separated from one another for more than a year due to COVID-19.

The video displays a brief insight into the 2021 Nez Perce Encampment Pavilion that takes place every year during Chief Joseph Days east of the Harley Tucker Rodeo Arena. 

Each dance session begins with a Grand Entry, including a procession of dancers. The Flag Bearers lead the procession carrying the Eagle Staff, American Flag, The Canadian Flag, and frequently, the MIA-POW Flag. Being a Flag Bearer is an honor usually given to a veteran, a respected traditional dancer, or a traditional elder. Everyone is asked to stand during the Grand Entry and men should remove their head coverings unless it has an eagle feather. After all the dancers are in the Arbor, a flag song is sung to honor the Eagle Staff and flags. Then a respected person, usually an elder, offers a prayer. This is followed by a victory song during which the Eagle Staff and flags are placed in their stands. 
The dance displayed in this short video is the Circle Dance.  A dance of friendship where everyone can join in. The circle of dancers moves to the left in the clockwise direction and three circle dance songs will be sung in succession.

For more information about the Nez Perce Tribe visit

Encampment Highlight Gallery

Visit our Partner

The pictures in this gallery reflect only the highlights from the event. Pictures are not for sale, but are donated back to the Nez Perce Tribe
 ~ Angelika Ursula Dietrich – Wild Horses Thunder ~

For the complete coverage of the Encampment read the “Chief Joseph Days” article in the Nimiipuu Tribal Tribune starting on page 6.

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ANGELIKA URSULA DIETRICH, owner and publisher of Wild Horses Thunder and Wild Horses Media Productions, is a professional Freelance Photographer, Videographer, Publisher, Writer, Social Media Consultant, and Website Developer.

Angelika's photography work has been displayed on the front cover of Idaho Magazine (2022), the Nimiipuu Tribal Tribune, Cowboy Lifestyle Network (2021), Cowboys & Indians (2016 & 2018), and in various Oregon and Washington entertainment and vacation publications, Chief Joseph Days Rodeo Program and website (2012-2020), at Art Gallery Festivals, private businesses, as well as for display advertisement for many clients in and out of Wallowa County including the Wallowa County Chieftain (2003-2007).

Between 2007 and 2009, Angelika worked in radio as the news and sports director for owners Lee and Carol Lee Perkins at KWVR Radio in Enterprise, Oregon. After the station was sold, she created Wallowa Valley Online, an independent online news magazine publishing and writing news and engaging in photojournalism.

After ten years of Wallowa Valley Online, Angelika decided to concentrate more on her photography & video productions, and cover and write human interest stories on Wild Horses Thunder - The studio & journal, and volunteer at the Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland.

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