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Dee-ni’ Srii-nis (Dee-ni’ Day) was a day filled with cultural activities, vendors, good food and fun. The morning kicked off with a 5K & 1 mile Naa-wet (Foot-Race) on the Naa-svt (Beach). This year was the first year we included the 1 mile Naa-wet with much success. We had over 30 participants with 4 divisions for each distance: Male Adult, Female Adult, Male Youth, and Female Youth. The winners of the event were: 5K – Don James, 30:57 (Male Adult), Kim Bommelyn, 31:00 (Female Adult), Tyler Stanley, 31:30 (Male Youth), Kit Haas, 56:25 (Female Youth), and 1 mile – Tim Adams 8:12 (Male Adult), Briannon Fraley, 17:16 (Female Adult), Chase Owen, 12:23 (Male Youth), Tsinte Steinruck, 11:50 (Female Youth). The morning was followed with the opening of over 30 vendors, that included: food, textile crafters, outreach, UIHS booths, jewelry, bake goods and many more. A Na’-le (men’s gambling) and Chvtlh-xvt (women’s gambling) tournament was also held. We had two Tolowa Dee-ni’ Na’-le teams battle for eleven points before the winning team of Pyuwa Bommelyn, Loren Bommelyn and Nan-ts’vn Scott came back from a 8 to 3 point deficit to steal the win. The Chvtlh-xvt tournament had an record 8 team double elimination tournament that saw the youngest team of Huné Bommelyn, 7yrs, and Tsinte Steinruck, 8yrs, run through all of their opponents and take the tournament victory. The morning was also filled with the aroma of salmon cooking as Armando Lopez and Jimmy Richards cooked lhuk (salmon) traditionally with an open fire. The Fish Cooks answered questions from onlookers and curious community members and free samples were provided to the community. Youth at the event could be heard laughing and having fun at the bounce houses and obstacle course. Neighboring the bounce houses and obstacle courses in the field was a Horse Shoe Tournament. The winners of the Horse Tournament were, Marvin Richards and Bronson Richards. As the afternoon went on Suntayea Steinruck provided lively commentary and also discussed and shared elements to woman’s traditional regalia that is used in Nee-dash. Inside the Howonquet Hall, Dee-ni’ community members brought traditional items that they showed off in the Indigenous Works contest. The winners of the Indigenous Works contest were: Denise McKenzie with her beautiful miniature jump dance basket that she weaved, and Peter Gensaw with a traditional men’s gambling drum he made. The last event of the day was the Sticks Tournament. The stick field was 150 yards of pristine beach. There were many hard fought matches consisting of wrestling, lots of running, great effort and endurance as battles for the tossels carried on. The winners of the tournament were: 9-11 yrs – DRI: Darvin Davis IV, James Mitchell and Jason Marshall Jr. ,12-14yrs- Kai Baugh, Flint Donahue and Kobe Mitchell (unchallenged), 15-17yrs – Pu-lik-lah: Tanner Gensaw, Ta-tes Boulby and Mason Mitchell, and 18+yrs- Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Stick Players: Bronson Richards, Rylan Baugh and Austin Moore. Thank you to the teams that traveled a great distance to participate in this crowd pleaser event.
This event was a great success made possible by the dedication of Tribal Council and the hard work of every department at the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation. Please join us in thanking the Waa-tr’vslh-‘a~ (Culture), Administration, Maintenance, Child and Family Resources, Natural Resources, Ocean Governance, Fiscal, Human Resources, TERO, and Head Start Departments for coming together and putting on the event.
Thank you to all those who attended the event this year and if you didn’t we hope to see you next year; So start training now to get ready for sticks, work on your songs for gambling, your traditional projects for the Indigenous Works and your goods to be sold at next year’s Dee-ni’ Srii-nis Event.
Submitted by: Pyuwa Bommelyn Waa-tr’vslh-‘a~ Director.