By Haley Grinder
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A pop up café joined the Columbia Valley in honour of Canada’s first federally recognized Truth and Reconciliation Day. The café was the contribution of Lillian Rose, who wanted to “extend an invitation to those who choose to live Ktunaxa Traditional Territory to ‘break bread’.”
Rose says she was raised in Ktunaxa culture, and her mother and grandmother always stressed the importance of extending hospitality to those who come into your home. She wishes to “open lines of communication to have a chance for those committed to the cause to show solidarity in a positive cross-cultural forum.”
The café was held at the Columbia Lake Recreation Centre, built by the Akisqnuk First Nations as a regional recreational facility. The center was available to all residents and visitors in the area and — on top of the ice rink that doubles as a gym— boasts a small cafeteria area and kitchen.
Rose shared traditional frybread, a “bread cooked in oil and enhanced by a meat and bean, chili-style topping with lettuce, tomatoes and condiments.” She says the versatility of frybread has led to its popularity, becoming “a staple in every culture in the world.”
Over 170 people attended Rose’s pop up café on Sept. 30. Rose is a residential school survivor and recognizes the traumatic implications that accompany the day of commemoration. “I did not want the day to go by having the national media override the sentiment about what Truth and Reconciliation means to me,” says Rose.
She expressed appreciation for the number of people that showed their support. “It is indicative that they are committed to the cause and are now involved in their own personal journey to know the truth and to find ways to bring about reconciliation, firstly in their own lives, the lives of their family, the community and Canada.”