By Cindy Wilgosh
Thank you to everyone for such an amazing National Indigenous Peoples Day.
I’m pretty sure this was one of the best National Aboriginal Day events we’ve have had in a long time.
The day started off around 11 a.m. and there was a steady stream of people all day long. The end of the day count was more than 200 people coming and going. It was absolutely wonderful to have the children from Eagles Nest and from Raft River Elementary School come to participate.
The seniors stopped by around lunchtime, and we also had visitors from Wales, Holland, Germany, and Australia.
The grand entry was at noon, and I so appreciate the people that were asked to carry the flags without any notice like Shelly Sim from the District of Clearwater, Laura Pickering, Steve Coburn, Lowanda Knox and Sam Saul, Irene McNabb, Joe Short, Keith Henry, Renee Therein and Dale Haggerty.
All the special people who participated in the grand entry, Sheila Nyman, Georgina Leppky, Jessica Baker, Michelle Wall, Bridget MacDougall, Cheryl Thomas, Alex Shymkiw, Lori Bradstock, all the children (sorry if I missed anyone), which made our grand entry a real community showcase.
We were lead in by JJ Lavallee and his amazing fiddle playing.
The crowd was treated to a yummy lunch catered by Lowanda Knox from Barriere.
There was exceptional entertainment all afternoon long. With our very special guests Rowan and Quinn Pickering teaching some of the children how to jig. Renee Therein, and JJ Lavallee on fiddle and guitar, and we were all treated to Quinn Pickering singing and playing guitar.
We were all treated to an amazing dinner of Indian tacos homemade bannock and chilli, dessert to die for and cake.
I cannot thank all of the volunteers enough for all their help in setting up and to all the wonderful people who helped clean up afterwards.
Special thanks to Marilyn Thompson who was there from beginning to end. Vivian Allen and Annabelle Stevens, Dennis Peacock, Roxanne L’Esperance, Changes that Heal, Wendy Vogels and Brenda Griffiths.
More thanks to our very special guests from the lower mainland Keith Henry, Sherry Daniels, JJ Lavallee, Rowan Pickering, Quinn Pickering, Derrick Whiteskycloud, and our special guest Renee Therein, all the way from Terrace, who drove here just to support this event.
The BC Metis Federation, with their generous financial support of $2,700. The Yellowhead Community Services for the use of the facility, a cash donation, and all the support from Kerry Milner-Cairns, Joanna Hurst, Kathy Green, and Jackie Enfield.
Wells Gray Tourism and Stephanie Molina for a surprise donation, thank you.
Thanks to the community for all your support on this very important day.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day that takes us one step closer to reconciliation and understanding of the cultural importance of acknowledgement for our North Thompson Valley. Please save the date for next year—June 21 it will be on a Sunday.
Yours in Community Spirit.