Ed and Juanita Elliott are the reigning king and queen of the 42nd Annual BC Elders Gathering being held in the Cowichan Valley July 10-12. (File photo)

Thousands flood into Duncan for Elders Gathering

Event, hosted this year by Cowichan Tribes, runs July 10-12

It was a sight to behold as throngs of singing and drumming First Nations groups, along with Premier John Horgan and other dignitaries, took part in the B.C. Elders Gathering’s Grand Entry Tuesday morning, filling the Island Savings Centre’s arena to capacity.

Up to 5,000 people, including about 2,500 elders, are visiting the Cowichan Valley from July 10-12 to attend the 42nd annual gathering.

Hosted this year by Cowichan Tribes, the Gathering has elders coming from First Nations from all over the province.

Attendees will be accommodated at numerous locations throughout the south Island, from Nanaimo to Victoria, during the three-day gathering.

The events at the Gathering will mainly take place at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan, and will include workshops, tours, guest speakers, performers, and a fashion show.

Cowichan Tribes’ website says that this year’s reigning King and Queen at the Gathering, Ed and Juanita Elliott, are looking forward to welcoming all the elders from across B.C.

“We hope you enjoy yourselves during these three days,” the website said.

“We look forward to watching everyone connect with one another while gaining inspiration in your roles as elders. Cowichan Tribes encourages all attendees to share their wisdom, culture, and history.”

There will be a full schedule of activities based on the event’s theme: ‘I tst ‘o’ hwun’ ‘I (We are still here).”

‘I tst ‘o’ hwun’ ‘I speaks to the resiliency of the elders to still be present to rebuild, reconnect and revitalize their culture with future generations and work toward respectful harmonious relationships.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our community and neighbours to come together with Nuts’a’maat shqwaluwun – One Heart, One Mind, just like we did in 2008 for the North American Indigenous Games and Tribal Journeys,” said Cowichan Tribes Chief William (Chip) Seymour in a March interview.

As part of the activities related to the Gathering, Cowichan Tribes has loaned a totem pole that will be on display at Chances Cowichan.

A statement from Cowichan Tribes said that as Chances Cowichan is a joint venture partner for the First Nation, the totem pole will stand for the relationship between the two.

The pole was carved by Cicero Augustine in 1985 and has been refurbished by Doug August (Cicero’s son) for Cowichan Tribes.

It will be unveiled at Chances Cowichan on July 11 at 8:30 a.m. and there will be First Nations dancers at the event.

Invited guests at the unveiling include the chief and council of Cowichan Tribes, Duncan’s mayor and council and the Duncan totem sub-committee.

Just Posted

Meet the Ladysmith ambassador candidates

Seven enrolled in this year’s leadership program

Dump truck driver hurt after highway crash in Ladysmith

One man airlifted to hospital after collision between dump truck and pickup truck Friday

Ladysmith reservoirs full despite winter drought

Both reservoirs at or above capacity

Rickter Scale: Goodbye in the blink of an eye

Funny the impact a text can have — in more ways than one

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read