August 28, 2018 (Esk’etemc) – Over 600 Secwepemc including youth, Elders, and leaders from across Secwepemcúlecw met at the Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Pow Wow grounds from August 24- 26, 2018, for the Secwepemc Summer Gathering. The goal of the event was to connect to the land and come together to celebrate Secwepemc language, tradition and culture while building and strengthening the kinship bonds which are the backbone of the Secwepemc Nation.
“We asked that our relatives park their politics for this gathering- it was not a time to discuss pipelines, treaty or non- treaty. It was a time to solidify our kinship ties and enjoy being out on the land, away from technology. From our youth to our Elders, everyone actively participated in activities such as processing salmon, traditional medicines and storytelling. There were also plenty of hands on learning- how to make an arrow head, a ribbon skirt, birch bark baskets and bull rush mats. Our people pulled together -those moments of sharing and helping one another are essential for unifying our nation. The people from Esketemc stepped up and were good hosts to our relatives from near and far.”
Esk’etemc Kukpi7 Fred Robbins.
During the gathering, the Secwepemc Nation hosted the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Matriarchs, Hereditary House Chiefs and citizens to participate in a ceremony to honour the “Jurisdiction of our Children Peace and Cooperation Treaty.” The ceremony held was to reaffirm the solid Nation to Nation relationship that is shared between the Secwépemc, Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan regarding the 1997 Delgamuukw v. British Columbia Supreme Court of Canada decision (see attached background for further detail).
“Over 600 Secwepemc showed up, our families showed up even in spite of the fires, the smoke and the weather. Over 600 leaders were at this gathering, leading the way for our nation. At these gatherings, the young ones are always watching us, they see how we supported and helped one another, how we learn from one another. That’s leadership in action and something that we are showing to the next generations of leaders. We are rebuilding our nation with our families, starting with our children first, for it is the little ones here at these gatherings who will lead the way by reconnecting our Secwepemc ways of being.”
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council Chair, Splatsin Kukpi7 Wayne Christian
Download PDF: Summer Gathering Media Release Aug 28, 2018