For the last two years or so, Johnny Pierro has had a dream; and now he is hoping that his dream can become a reality in August 2017.
“I want to have a pow-wow in Ashcroft, with the theme of ‘Honouring all Cowboys’,” he explains. It would be the first pow-wow held in Ashcroft, and would celebrate the area’s rich history of cowboys, both First Nations and non-First Nations.
A 1949 photograph shows a group of Interior cowboys returning from Vancouver Island. Pictured are Wilfrid Lulu and Joe LeBourdais (first and second l) and Ray Simla (upper r), with (from l) Percy Minnabarriet, Slim Howie, and Bobby Bob in the front row.
Eya-Hey-Nakoda, his host drum, would draw people to the three-day event, which would also feature dancing, drummers, and singers, as well as First Nations arts and crafts.
“The whole idea is to bring people together, from Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Logan Lake, and beyond,” he says. He envisions a traditional pow-wow where people are fed, and would be seeking help with that aspect of it.
The pow-wow would be a family event, planned by Pierro and his daughters and their families. It would also welcome all families, and be drug- and alcohol-free.
He explains the idea behind the pow-wow’s theme. “Before the 1960s, before vehicles were popular, there were hardly any vehicles here. All we had were horses and bulls to ride every day. People travelled on horses, and they got here on saddlehorses or by horse and buggy.
“Someone had to break the horses, and we had a lot of champion cowboys from our area, now and in the past. There are so many cowboys we need to recognize. I’d like to have a special event on one of the days just for them.”
Pierro is looking at a three-day event over the weekend of August 25 to 27, 2017, so acknowledges that there is a lot of time to plan it, but adds that the time will go quickly. Anyone who feels they could help out is asked to call him at (250) 457-9764.
“With support from the local community, we can make the pow-wow work.”