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

Ladysmith Maritime Society wants to be known as the Friendliest Marina on the Coast

Group marks 33 years of marine preservation and community

John murder trial at Duncan courthouse on pause until spring

John is charged with the May 2016 murder of 20-year-old Derek Descoteau

Ladysmith proving once again, it’s a small town with a big heart

It takes a town full of volunteers to ensure no child goes hungry

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

15 new Indigenous teacher training seats added at Cowichan VIU campus

Thorne said the new Indigenous teacher education curriculum that is planned at VIU

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Most Read