For the second year in a row Aboriginal Day was celebrated inside and also on the grounds of the Shatford Centre on Wednesday.
Beginning with the grand procession, hereditary Penticton Indian Band chief Adam Eneas lead in the dignitaries including current chief Chad Eneas and Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit followed by the traditional First Nations dancers
That was followed a mini-powwow where everyone who wanted had an opportunity to get up and dance to the beat of the Highwater Drum Group.
“On behalf of the PIB when we think of aboriginal day being one day of the year t year that we celebrate life that was gifted to us, each and every day we can wake up that’s a gift for all living things, is to be able to live life as they are,” Chad Eneas told the crowd of hundreds of people. “My great grandma shared with us a story and I’m just going to share a little bit of that story, She said we are so insignificant in our life it’s like a grain of sand compared to how old the earth is and how long that life is going to live in front of us in our future.”
Adam Eneas talked about healing process and the future of not needing reconciliation events such as the one he attended the previous day at Penticton Secondary Schoool.
He also spoke about the past: “The colonization and the colonial attitudes of previous governments and who said we’re going to take the Indian out of the child and make him or her a white person, that did not succeed.”
At 6:30 a community feast of traditional First Nations foods took place inside where an art exhibit called Resurgence was on display curated by Dr. Michelle Jack and Ann Doyon.
As well there were portraits being taken by Joe Lebeau, craft vendors and children’s activities.
The Okanagan Nation Alliance brought the exhibition, the Social Life of Water featuring the voices of Silx elders and knowledge keepers offering an indigenous perspective that depicts the signifigance of water as it infiltrates every aspect of life.
Both exhibits will run until Sept. 10 at the centre.