Local First Nations will lend flavour to a slice of historical Canadian culture this weekend.
The Akisqnuk First Nation and the Shuswap Band are sponsoring the National Aboriginal Day 2015 festivities collaboratively between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Lakeshore Resort and Campground on Saturday, June 13th.
The Shuswap Indian Band and Akisqnuk used to organize separate (events), said Diana Cote, Shuswap Band spokesperson. This year we have decided to organize one jointly because were so close together a lot of our culture and heritage are married.
The day-long event offers the community an opportunity to get a taste of the history, culture and local diversity of the Columbia Valleys two First Nations.
We decided a big collaboration together would be nice, said Ms. Cote. Were working together.
The Assembly of First Nations called for a day to celebrate their culture, and the June 21st date was chosen to coincide with the summer solstice, which is typically celebrated with traditional ceremonies.
The day will begin with a fundraiser breakfast between 9 to 11 a.m. when the grand entry will begin. Proceeds will help offset transportation and accommodation costs of sending Elders to the 39th Annual B.C. Elders Gathering taking place in Saanich on Vancouver Island in July.
At 11 a.m., the grand entry will start with flags followed by the opening prayer. There will be childrens activities, drumming, dancing and storytelling about traditional legends between noon and 3:30 p.m. when the closing ceremony will begin. The beach will be accessible throughout the event and several food vendors will be on hand, including the Kootenay Kanteen and a hot dog stand that will also be raising money for the Elders Gathering. There will be numerous draw prizes given out, and everyone who attends will receive one free entry. A second entry for another chance to win can be earned by sitting with an Elder (there will be an Elders area set up) and learning one traditional word. As well, Panorama Mountain Resort president and chief executive officer Steve Paccagnan has donated a seasons pass to the organization, which will be given away in a raffle draw.
Its $5 a ticket in support of Aboriginal Days, added Ms. Cote. Its a big one for Panorama to do that for us. Steve is just amazing, and has been very supportive of the First Nation communities.
The Little Badger Daycare has offered up a bouncy castle for children to play on at the celebration this year and colouring books with traditional language words will be handed out to all the kids who attend.
Theres also going to be demonstrations to make dry meat, tan hiding, pine needle basket demonstrations, she said. We welcome everybody, and we hope that everybody can come down to enjoy the festivities at large to support the two communities.