A Celebration of Indigenous Culture
June 21st, the longest day of the year. That is the solstice of course and it was also Indigenous Day which saw celebrations held by many communities including Tsq'escenemc First Nation (formerly Canim Lake Band). Everyone was openly invited down for a day packed full of activity and a celebration of culture.
The day began bright and early with sweat lodges for men and women. The rain didn't manage to dampen the activities in the slightest! Elders told stories and the awards ceremony was held as scheduled. Games followed, including Lahal (the stick game), a scavenger hunt, sack races, Indian Bingo and a highlight - the Bannock Competition! "Bannock A" vs "Bannock B" … with Melody Henderson's "A" taking the trophy on that one.
Lahal (the stick game)
I had a chance to catch up with an old highschool pal, Joseph Archie, who is currently acting as the Culture Coordinator. He was involved in creating the event and even had a full team of 8 people to help set up the day before! Turns out he is busy working on many more cultural events hosted by and for the community throughout the summer.
We were able to gift Kukpi (Chief) Henderson and Tkwamipla7 (council) with the story and seedling of a 9000 year old tobbaco seed strain. Unmodified and found in the pocket of a "cave man", propagated 4 times since being identified by the UBC Botanical Gardens.
At the end of it all, I came home with a full belly and a full heart, a beaded craft for my daughter, $75 heavier in my Save-On gift card Lahal winnings and feeling a general abundance of gratitude to the Hosts!
Kuxchem to everyone for a most wonderful day.
Check out the Lahal video here, and this spontaneous Cameo Radio including guest appearances HERE.