Up to 5,000 First Nations people, including about 2,500 elders, will be visiting the Cowichan Valley from July 10-12 to attend the 42nd Annual BC Elders Gathering.
Hosted this year by Cowichan Tribes, the Gathering will see 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.
The Cowichan Tribe’s 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.