Naselle Youth Camp Hosts Potlatch During Native American Heritage Month

November 22, 2019
Naselle’s Native youth pictured along with Superintendent Pat Escamilla and Washington State Representative Brian Blake.

Earlier this month, Naselle Youth Camp hosted its annual potlatch where community members, family and DCYF staff gathered to share a meal and immerse themselves in the spirit of local potlatch tradition.  

Practiced by Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast for thousands of years, a potlatch traditionally takes place during colder months and serves as a gathering for the redistribution and reciprocity of wealth.

During Naselle’s potlatch, ancestral stories were shared, traditional songs were sung and youth-made ceremonial gifts were bestowed. Before the feast, Shoalwater Bay Tribal Chairwoman, Charlene Nelson, gave a traditional blessing. “Howaa salaana masi masi,” she said. Which roughly translates to, “With everything, thank you.”

Thank you Naselle Youth Camp, for opening your doors to share this rich Native tradition with DCYF and the local community.