Every summer since 1986, the Klamath Tribes have reserved the fourth weekend of August to celebrate when the Klamath Tribes Restoration Act was passed into law, restoring federal recognition of the Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin (Paiute) tribes.
The Restoration Celebration returns this weekend for its 36th year and invites the public to join in the traditional festivities. Following pandemic shut downs, the community celebration this year is back in full-swing, hosting family-friendly events all weekend long, under the banner of “Revitalize Our Spirit.”
The four-day event begins Thursday, Aug. 25 when the Klamath Tribal Health Department Youth & Family Guidance Center hosts a pre-day Smudge Walk and Prayers. The walk begins at 8:30 a.m. at the fitness center in Chiloquin and ends at noon. Brunch will be provided to participants and everyone is welcome to join.
The celebration truly starts Friday, Aug. 26 with “Kicking it off” with the Health Row event. Master of Ceremonies Henry Thunderboy Rondeau said this portion of the celebration is intended to give community members an opportunity to learn about the available health provisions from members of the tribal health administration.
With set-up beginning at 7:30 a.m., gates will open to the public at 9 a.m.
Before the Health Row event is the unveiling of the Green School Yard — a new facility open to community use when school is not in session — at 8 a.m.
The school yard is around the back of Chiloquin Elementary at 548 S. Second Ave. in Chiloquin.
Running alongside the Health Row event will be the Color Run & Walk, which also takes place at the Green School Yard. This event is hosted by Klamath Tribal Health & Family Services. Participant registration begins at 9 a.m. and ends prior to the photo lineup which is set to take place at 10:45 a.m. Runners will take their marks at 11 a.m., with the walkers following.
A lunch will follow the completion of the Color Walk & Run event as participants return to Chiloquin Elementary around 12:30 p.m. Runners will be recognized at 12:45 p.m.
The pow wow will begin at 7 p.m. and continue throughout the weekend. The first Grand Entry is set for 7 p.m. at the Goos Olgi Gowa Community Center, 35601 Choke Cherry Way. This event will feature local vendors and fun for people of all ages, including dance contests for teens, adults and seniors.
Saturday, Aug. 27 continues the festivities with a traditional parade at 10 a.m. The parade leaves from Chiloquin Elementary School to head through downtown Chiloquin.
The parade will feature this year’s Grand Marshal, William Ray, who will serve the role in honor of his late siblings, Leticia Kirk and Eugene Ray.
Saturday also holds a traditional Red Shawl Dance, a practice of remembrance for loved ones who have passed. Those who attend are asked to wear red in support of Missing or Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP). The event will begin at 3 p.m. and is hosted in collaboration by the Tribal Court Victims of Crime Project (TCVCP) and Healing Winds.
Finally, the celebratory weekend wraps up Sunday, Aug. 28 when the Klamath Tribes Culture and Heritage Department displays Klamath Tribal Artifacts at the community center alongside a language presentation by the newly founded Klamath Tribes Language Department.
The pow wow will wrap up the festivities, presenting its last Grand Entry event at 1 p.m.