National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrated in Penticton

There were plenty of smiles among the young dancers at the National indigenous People’s Day celebration last Friday outside of the Shatford Centre. (Kristi Patton — Western News)There were plenty of smiles among the young dancers at the National indigenous People’s Day celebration last Friday outside of the Shatford Centre. (Kristi Patton — Western News)

People from all walks of life came together at the Shatford Centre to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on Friday.

“It is an amazing and magnificent sight to see so many different people here today to celebrate this special day,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, who spoke following the Grand entry of the powwow

Indigenous people came from communities across the Okanagan dressed in regalia to dance, ready to sing and drum.

READ MORE: Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day

City of Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said it is imperative the city and PIB work together in partnerships to advance.

“The only way we can successfully live together and succeed economically together is for is to respect eachother. Without respect and understanding, it’s not going to work,” said Vassilaki.

Phillip said “we live in particularly interesting times,” noting that there has been a number of significant achievements including the Senate passing the Indigenous Languages Act and laws dealing with children and families.

The Indigenous Languages Act received Royal Assent on June 21 and was in response to the urgent need for action to prevent erosion and possible extinction of some of Canada’s 90 living Indigenous languages.

Phillip said he is disappointed in Senate not passing Bill C-262 — an act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

He took a shot at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for not getting the Bill through and at his promise to get it done if he is re-elected.

“If he couldn’t do it the first time, he is going to have less of a government the next time. So another hollow promise,” said Phillip, who praised the provincial government for the environmental strides they are taking.

The Indigenous Peoples Day in Penticton was organized by the En’owkin Centre, Indigenous Education-School District 67, Ooknakane Friendship Centre, Okanagan College, Penticton Historical Society, South Okanagan Restorative Justice and the Shatford Centre Okanagan School of the Arts.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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