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

Sponsored by

The pictures in this gallery reflect only the highlights from the event. These and many more are available for sale at the link above.
Thank you for your interest in my photography. ~ 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.

PLEASE NOTE: Pictures are available for sale to tribal members, and their families! They are NOT to be used for any type of publication, online, or otherwise, regardless of use including non-profit without the written permission of Angelika Ursula Dietrich AND the Nez Perce tribe. Thank you for your understanding ~ Angelika Ursula Dietrich – Wild Horses Thunder

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Author: Wild Horses Thunder

ANGELIKA URSULA DIETRICH, owner and publisher of Wild Horses Thunder and Wild Horses Media Productions is a professional Photographer, Visual Artist, Publisher, Writer, Social Media Consultant, and Website Developer. Angelika's photography work has been displayed in Cowboys & Indians (2016 & 2018), Nimiipuu Tribal Tribune (2021), and various Oregon, Washington, and Idaho publications, Chief Joseph Days Rodeo Program and website (2010-2020), 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) Offering Horse Show + Rodeos + 4H-FFA, Community Events + Outdoor + Farm & Ranch + Commercial Photography and Video Productions

  • Member of the Professional Photographers of America
  • Media Marketing Director at Highview Angus Ranch since 2009
  • Rodeo Program Committee Chair, Media Manager, Official Public Relations Photographer at Chief Joseph Days Rodeo from 2010-2020
  • Lifetime Member of Chief Joseph Days Rodeo

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