The Canim Lake band celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day at Eliza Archie Memorial School

‘We do something here to make sure that they get to have fun and celebrate their day in our community’

The Canim Lake band held a full day of games and contests at the Eliza Archie Memorial school for National Indigenous Peoples Day on Thursday, June 21.

Pam Theodore, who organizes the event every year, said the day is scheduled but people have freedom to celebrate in whatever way they feel.

“Like the tug-of-war,” she said. “We didn’t have that in the schedule, but somebody said, ‘let’s have one,’ so we said, ‘okay.’”

The band’s land administrator said the tug-of-war is one of the many games her people have been doing for years.

The day began with a 5 km race, won by 13-year-old Lexus Amut, and concluded with an Amazing Race, where teams had to have at least one child, one teenager, one adult and one elder.

Participants also played lahal games, traditional guessing games using bone, Indian Bingo, a game involving dice, tossed water balloons to each other, competed in sack races and played two-ball, a traditional sport involving a stick and two balls on a string.

“It’s akin to rugby,” but uses traditional items, explained Theodore. “It’s quite fun.”

She said they always make sure to have a lot of activities that include the children, even renting out large inflatable play areas.

A pirate bouncy castle and dolphin slide stood on the school’s field for this year’s event.

“It pretty much occupies them all day,” she said, “especially when it’s so hot.”

The tribal councils hold a large celebration in William’s Lake every year, according to Theodore, but not everyone can make the trip.

“We do something here to make sure that they get to have fun and celebrate their day in our community.”

She said the day is very important to her and that planning the festivities has become one of her favourite initiatives.

“All our elders are here today and they share their knowledge with our youth and we try to do activities that surround our culture and our traditions.”

Drums and singing rang out behind Theodore as she spoke. She explained the people were singing lahal songs as a way to celebrate and that they go on as long as they feel like. “If they want to sing, we let them sing,” she shrugged and smiled.

“They’re just having a lot of fun.”

Antoinette Archie, one of the elders, sat in the tent to talk to people about their ancestors and the different medicines that can be made from the native plants.

Archie said she taught the kids about medicine and then they drew the plants and what they learned about it.

“I was pretty proud of their work, so I displayed it here for people to see,” said Archie, “to show the people that they are learning something.”

Archie teaches the Shuswap language to children from kindergarten up to Grade 7. “They learn more, I think, when they’re little. They’re not afraid to use the language,” she said.

Other elders displayed artifacts and drums or ran a concession and bannock contest.

Jane Archie taught people to make birch bark baskets using bark and roots she collected in May.

The land was full of laughter and activity.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

Forest Grove is getting ready to rock with the 2018 Hootstock Music Festival

Nearly 30 acts from around Canada to show off their musical talents

Mile 108 teacher heads to B.C. offshore school in Egypt

‘I don’t know exactly what to expect, but that’s kind of what I’m excited for.’

100 Mile House’s six new permanent paramedics have arrived

Richard Miller is one of six new full-time paramedics in Station 327

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Hundreds of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016

Most Read