22nd annual powwow at Enumclaw Middle School

Dancing at the 2016 powwow at Enumclaw High School. Photo by Kevin Hanson.

Colorful dancers and rhythmic drumming will be found Friday evening as the Enumclaw School District offers its 22nd annual powwow.

This year’s event is set for Enumclaw Middle School, due to ongoing construction at the high school. All are invited to the free event, which begins with a “grand entry” at 7 p.m.

The powwow is a result of efforts that began 25 years ago by Bob Charlo and Sharon Calvert, who worked with Enumclaw High administrator Terry Parker. The program continues primarily due to funding from the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, plus a small contribution from the federal government.

What began as the Native Education Program evolved a couple of years ago when Parker and Cathy Calvert recognized the district’s Latino students had similar needs for cultural support. The effort is now the Cultural Support Program.

Parker is retiring at the close of the current school year and will be honored for his ongoing efforts during Friday’s powwow. During his years as Enumclaw High principal and the district director of curriculumand instruction, Parker has remained in charge of the cultural programs.