First Nations elders gather in Abbotsford

Thousands are expected to attend 36th annual celebration at the Tradex building

Bruce Falstead and Carol Greaves from Fortis BC take in a display of native carvings at a celebration dinner on Saturday

Bruce Falstead and Carol Greaves from Fortis BC take in a display of native carvings at a celebration dinner on Saturday

More than 3,000 guests are expected to attend the opening ceremony for the 36th annual Elders’ Gathering Tuesday at Tradex in Abbotsford.

This year’s event runs from Tuesday to Thursday and is hosted by the Tsawwassen First Nation and Sto:lo Communities. The theme is “Lets’emot” – One Heart, One Mind, One Family.

The Elders Gathering takes place each year in B.C. and is hosted by different First Nation communities. This is the second consecutive year that it is being held in Abbotsford.

The purpose of the gathering is for elders to socialize, share their accomplishments and prepare themselves for future work.

They also share their traditional ways – through song, dance and ceremonies throughout the event – with visiting cultural and linguistic groups.

Last year, more than 1,500 participants attended the gathering each day, participating in meetings, workshops and various other activities.

The opening ceremony begins at 1 p.m. today. Tradex is located at 1190 Cornell St. For more information, including the complete schedule, visit 36theldersgathering.com.