B.C.’s Elders Gathering in Penticton unique in Canada

More than 3,500 people attended the 38th annual Elders Gathering in Penticton July 7 to 9.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of Penticton reaches out to an audience member during the grand entry of the delegates to the 2014 BC Elders Gathering at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of Penticton reaches out to an audience member during the grand entry of the delegates to the 2014 BC Elders Gathering at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

More than 3,500 people attended the 38th annual Elder’s Gathering in Penticton July 7 to 9, including Elders and dignitaries from across British Columbia.

The Penticton Indian Band hosted the gathering, which featured a wide range of events including workshops, guest speakers, entertainment, a traditional feast and Pow Wow and Elders dance and social.

The annual Elders’ gathering is unique to B.C. and is not duplicated in any other region of Canada according to Vera Gabriel, who along with her husband Emory were Queen and King for this year’s event.

“That is all it is, a B.C. gathering and nobody else has one,” she told the Penticton Western News. This year, organizers made it the first national gathering and also invited Elders from Washington State.

The reason for the event, the Gabriels say, is to draw together Elders, giving them a chance to share ideas and make contact with their peers from other communities. It’s also an opportunity to socialize, have some fun and regenerate themselves for future work.

The closing ceremonies included passing the baton, or in this case a totem, on to the Tsawout nation from Vancouver Island, which has been chosen to host the 2015 gathering.

The event attracts a number of high profiles sponsors including the following:

Presenting sponsors: Penticton Indian Band, Annual BC Elders Gathering Society, First Nations Health Authority.

Co-Supporting Sponsors: Government of British Columbia, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, New Relationship Trust, OXT Energy Corp, BC Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

Media Sponsor: Black Press

King and Queen Host Partner: Royal Bank of Canada

Diamond Sponsor: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Platinum Sponsors: Arrow Lakes Aboriginal Society, Yellowridge Construction Ltd, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Gold Sponsors: BC Hydro, Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, Pacific Trail Pipelines, Fortis BC

Silver Sponsors: AMEC, Britco, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy, City of Penticton, Global Spectrum, Greyback Construction Ltd, JJM, Mining Association of British Columbia, Mandell Pinder LLP, Kinder Morgan CanadaTransmountain, New Gold, Prince Rupert Port Authority, QTM Logistics Ltd, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, Save On Foods/ Overwaitea Food Group, Skaha Ford, Sodexo Canada Ltd, Spectra Energy, Tech Resources Limited, Westbank First Nation, Progress Energy Canada Ltd, Kitimat LNG/Chevron/Apache, Canadian National Railway

Community Sponsors: Aboriginal Travel Services, Bank of Montreal, Broughton Law, Canadian Dehua International Mines Group Inc, Canadian Pressure Control, Emil Anderson Construction Inc.,  Enowkin Centre, Iredale Architects, Klohn Crippen Berger, Neil Squire Society, Nestle Waters Canada, Pannu Brothers Trucking Ltd, Quickcoach Lines Ltd/ Charter Bus Lines, Snpinktn Forestry LP, South Okanagan Concrete Products, Suncor Energy/ Petro Canada Corporation, Unitex, Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation, Osoyoos Indian Band

Just Posted

Xauni de Figeuiroa of Abbotsford has been selected to attend a virtual space camp hosted by the Canadian Space Agency at the end of July.
Abbotsford student selected to attend virtual space camp

Xauni de Figeuiroa among 52 youth selected from across Canada

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read