In the spirit of pow wow season, we wanted to share the story of a “Pow Wow” that occurred 75 years ago this weekend in Palm Springs. These publicity photographs and notes are from the event. The press release speaks for itself…
Earlier this year Mr. John Collier, Chief Administrator for Indian Affairs at Washington, sent one of his principle aides and law enforcement officers to Palm Springs to investigate and straighten out the difficulties that were arising on the great Indian Reservation at the famous desert resort.
In the short time that has transpired since his arrival, Federal Officer in Charge H.H. Quackenbush has caused great changes to take place much to the relief of all fair-minded citizens, and to those who have the welfare of the Indians at heart. He has earned the respect and admiration of both the Indians and the white populace through his wise administration.
He has also gained the confidence of his Indian charges to the extent that they have planned together to hold a great All-Indian Spring Fiesta in Palm Canyon here for all to see. This will be the first time such a spectacle is opened to the public and one that will encourage the perpetuation of the ancient tribal customs of a noble and colorful race.
Under a full moon next Friday and Saturday evenings, several hundred Indians of the Mission tribes, including the Cahuilla, Mesa Grande, Pala, Los Coyotes, Soboba, Torres-Martinez, Santa Rosa, and others will gather around immense fires to sing, dance and play their age-old games. Others of Navajo, Hopi, Sioux, Cherokee, Blackfoot, Piute [sic] and Osage tribes will also join in the ceremonials and feasting.
The evening presentations will start at 8 o’clock and another two will be given on Sunday April 25th at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Admission for adults is one dollar and for children, twentyfive [sic] cents. It is hoped that schools will organize large parties for their students to witness this amazing spectacle and that all those who have Indian interests and betterment at heart will join the audiences.
From the National Archives at Riverside, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.