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Powwow, fried bread contest mark Indigenous Peoples Day in Splatsin

Hundreds of people came out to the Splatsin Community Centre for Splatsin te Secwépemc Day Friday

Splatsin culture was on full display when members of the First Nation and the public got together for Splatsin te Secwépemc Day, coinciding with National Indigenous Peoples Day Friday, June 21. 

Hundreds of people came to the Splatsin Community Centre for a day of cultural activities, food and a sense of community.

The day started off early, at 4:45 a.m., with a sunrise ceremony. That was followed by a smudging ceremony, an Elders prayer and a welcome song. After a pancake breakfast by the Enderby Lions Club, a brushing off ceremony took place. A traditional mini-powwow was held around 10 a.m. following some opening remarks. 

Some inflatables and other activities were on offer for youth to enjoy, and a fried bread cooking contest was held in the late morning. 

A long line formed at the barbecue tent around noon as a free lunch was served to all in attendance.

Traditional Splatsin storytelling capped off the event from 1-2 p.m.

Students from schools in the area came to take part in the festivities, and the Enderby Fire Department and BC Ambulance had their vehicles on site for kids to check out. 

Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Mike Christian said he was "super happy" with the turnout on a beautiful but sweltering day. 

Christian said different First Nations observe Indigenous Peoples Day in their own ways, and Splatsin te Secwépemc Day was about celebrating all that makes the people unique.

"We're unique because we're all tied to the land, that's sort of what the name Splatsin means, is we're the people of the river, near to the river," Christian said.

"Our (event) is specifically in relation to who we are and celebrating it with our neighbours," Christian said. 

And Splatsin's relationships with its neighbours have been strengthened by partnerships like the one formed for the creation of the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail, which brought Splatsin, the Regional District of North Okanagan and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District together in May to mark the opening of the first two kilometres of the trail.

Christian said Splatsin has gotten "a lot of support" from the cities of Armstrong and Enderby for the rail trail project. 

"We're looking forward to finalizing it and getting it all done," Christian said of the project that will create a trail from Armstrong to Sicamous. 

Splatsin te Secwépemc Day was going to include canoeing on Shuswap River, but that event was cancelled due to the water being too high.




Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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