31st Tamkaliks Celebration is just around the corner, July 21-23, 2023

Tamkaliks Celebration- (almost) always the 3rd Weekend in July

“Tamkaliks” comes from the Nez Perce language and means “from where you can see the mountains.”

Each July, the Homeland becomes a place of reunion for descendants of the original inhabitants of waláwa, the Wallowa country.

Participants enjoy three days of song and dance, culminating in a walasit service and Friendship feast. Descendants, locals, and visitors attend together. There are many ways to be involved, contribute, and enjoy. 

The Tamkaliks Celebration is a time for Nez Perce people from all over to come together and celebrate their culture. Last year’s festivities included visitors from as far away as Norway. It is also an opportunity for others to learn about Nez Perce’s culture and history.

The event is a powerful reminder of the Nez Perce people’s resilience and ongoing commitment to preserving their culture.

Each year, the Tamkaliks Committee awards two scholarships to a Native student and a local Wallowa County student pursuing higher education.

Scroll down to watch the video from one of the Grand Entries at last year’s Tamkaliks.

2023 Tamkaliks Schedule of Events

An abundance of vendors attended the 2022 Tamkaliks featuring everything from authentic native cuisine to wonderful merchandise from near and far vendors, plus big raffle items to everyone’s delight. 

2022 Tamkaliks Gallery Highlights


From the official Tamkaliks Program ~ The contemporary Powwow is a link to the past that helps maintain Native Heritage.  

Seen by outsiders as entertainment due to the singing, dancing and colorful regalia, the Powwow is a spiritual legacy which should be treated with respect and honor.  

  • It is a time for Indian families to be together with other family members and friends.
  • It is a time of sharing, of laughter and tears, or learning, and caring.
  • It is a time when Indians reflect on their traditions.
  • It is a time to honor the past and celebrate the future.  

Indian families travel hundreds of miles to attend Powwows across the continent.  

Time and distance are not relevant. The renewal of traditions and reinforcement of heritage is the important thing.  

It is a time to strengthen the circle.

The dance arbor is blessed before the powwow begins and is considered to be sacred ground for the duration of the celebration.  

There should be no drugs, alcohol, profanity, or boisterous behavior in this area. 

The front seats of the Arbor are for dancers, singers, and their  families.  

Elders are also given preferred places to sit.

The Master of Ceremonies keeps the powwow running smoothly. He is the one who announces the contests, which drums are to sing, and explains ceremonies as they take place.  

Spectators should listen to him to understand what is taking place. 

Contests are judged by dance styles and age group. The dancers are judged on their regalia as well as their dancing ability. Dancing out of beat, losing regalia, and failing to stop on the last drum beat can disqualify a dancer.

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Tamkaliks History

In 1990, a handful of Wallowa citizens and Nez Perce residents began developing an idea to bring together present day inhabitants of Wallowa and the descendants of the Wallowa Band Nez Perce. The first powwow and feast was held at the Wallowa school gymnasium. It was a monumental event of reunion for the dispersed Nez Perce and a celebration for all. In 1998, thanks to the continued efforts of volunteers and generous donors, we moved to our present site at the Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland grounds and renamed the event after the place: Tamkaliks “From where you can see the mountains.”

Growing out of the success of the annual celebration, the nonprofit Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland (NPWH) was formed. The mission of the organization is “to secure, develop, and manage real property and related assets to enhance and enrich the relationships among the descendants of indigenous people and the contemporary inhabitants of the Wallowa Valley; to create a physical place to build these relationships and to preserve and celebrate the culture of the indigenous inhabitants; and to educate the general public on the history of the area.” Today NPWH owns and manages the 320-acre parcel adjacent to the City of Wallowa along the Wallowa River.

Source: https://www.wallowanezperce.org/tamkaliks#tamkaliks-history

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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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