Senior project brings people together



Kerstin Jones of Willapa Valley High School is hoping to learn from her project, and it has a far-reaching impact that will spill out into the larger community.

"My goal for this project is to share the culture of Native Americans. I want more people to learn about our culture as well as learning more about myself," said Jones.

Jones is not just making a PowerPoint presentation, with images of Native American's, their history or traditions to show to her class advisors...she is calling for a Powwow to bring local tribes together and join her in the celebration of Native American traditions, art, culture, food and regalia.

"I am Quinault from my mother's side, and have always wanted to learn more about my culture."

Jones has started raising money for the event and is busy inviting as many tribes as she has can get the word out to prior to the event this coming March.

"She conducted an on-line auction, and held a bake sale so far. Kerstin has an account set up for the event closing in on $2,000," said Val Rowe, Jones' mentor for her project.

"The Powwow is free and open to the public," explains Jones. "I already have the Host Drum and Head Man and Woman Dancers all lined up."

"The money raised from the event is used to help pay some of those who travel to attend the Powwow. You are required some specific people to attend. No one asks for money to attend, but it is nice if we can provide some to help with the expense of travel. We also hope to have enough to offer some prizes," confirmed Rowe.

The Powwow is scheduled on March 7, 2015 and will run from 1 - 10 pm staged at Willapa Valley High School, 22 Viking Way in Menlo.

"We will start with a Grand Entry at 1 pm, and dancing follows," said Jones, "There will be a dinner for the guests and vendors, and we start again with the second Grand Entry at 7 pm."

The Kerstin Jones's 2015 Senior Project Powwow will be filled with drums, dance, song and food. Many styles of dances from several tribes are expected from Jingle Dress Dance to Men and Women's Fancy Dance. Kevin and Jeanifer King are the scheduled Head Man and Head Woman Dancers along with Fir Tree Road as Host Drum.

With this inter-tribal powwow, vendors will also be in the area with Native American arts and crafts, jewelry and many more items.

"One of the things I have been working to make is Fry Bread. We will have some at the event as well," said Jones.

Jones is attempting to complete her project is rather short order, as her mentor notes that an event like this usually takes close to a year to organize. She has set up an Event Page on her own Facebook Page has her event scheduled on Powwow.com, is sourcing vendors and more and more participants.

"There use to be events like this in the past around here. It has been a long time and I hope to bring some of that culture back," said Jones.

Jones has been attending as many Powwows as she can between September of this year and will continue to put the word out about hers coming after the new year. Dedicating her time to her project, she has far surpassed the required hours for her senior project, and is also looking to attend Grays Harbor College after graduation working through the World Scholar program at Willapa Valley High School.

"I am not exactly sure what I will study yet, but I would like to take business and massage therapy. I could eventually open up a practice," said Jones.

But before she can even think about her first semester as a Chocker, she will need to complete her ambitious culminating project and bring a community together.

"All are invited to this Powwow. And anyone can join in on some of the dancing."

There will also be a Tiny Tot dance that will bring out those toddlers for a turn on the open floor. As well as several opportunities for those visiting to partake in the event.

To learn more about Kerstin and her senior project you can find information through her Facebook page: Kerstin's 2015 Senior Project. Donations and vendors are still being accepted for the event. You can contact Kerstin or Val by email at:  HYPERLINK "mailto:kerstinrae@gmail.com" kerstinrae@gmail.com;  HYPERLINK "mailto:val.rowe@gmail.com" val.rowe@gmail.com.