The Splatsin are preparing for a significant milestone in their community.
On Saturday, the First Nation will open a new community centre just south of Enderby.
“Our community centre has taken decades of dialogue and input from our members as we have become more active in the economy in our traditional territory,” said Chief Wayne Christian.
“That work has made the community centre a reality. It is here for the children today and those yet unborn. We invite all to come and celebrate with us.”
The building is based on the traditional Splatsin pit house and features a basketball court, a running track, and sliding doors to accommodate events such as indoor car and boat shows. It can accommodate 2,000 people.
Festivities begin Saturday with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. That is followed at 10 a.m. by the welcome and honour songs, the ribbon cutting, the grand entry and a prayer and wipe down of the building.
From 11 a.m. until noon, there will be displays and entertainment, including storyteller Kenthen Thomas, Splatsin youth and elders, dancing, drumming and singing.
There will be a chili and bannock lunch from noon to 1 p.m. and then from 1 to 2 p.m., the Shihiya School and Splatsin Tsm7akslatn (Teaching Centre) will perform.
At 2 p.m., there will be a round dance and closing ceremonies.
“This building is a blend of the traditional and contemporary,” said Gloria Morgan, event co-ordinator and former chief.
“We invite everyone to come and explore the centre and enjoy the ceremonies planned for the day.”