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KCR: National Indigenous Day

These columns are contributed by the KCR Community Resources
(Neskonlith Indian Band-Facebook)

This Friday, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day set aside to celebrate and honour the cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples and their contributions to Canada. Coinciding with the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year, it is also an important day to acknowledge Canada’s colonial history, its ongoing impact on Indigenous Peoples and everyone’s responsibility to work towards dismantling harmful systems and encouraging action to Truth and Reconciliation by building relationship and understanding with Indigenous Peoples. 

So, let me really start by acknowledging that I am writing this on the traditional, unceded and ancestral land of the Syilx People. Recognizing whose land we are on is an important part of the journey towards Reconciliation and it is one that I am deeply committed to in my role at KCR, as a parent and a community member. I see it as my duty and honour to build understanding and relationship with Indigenous People and to be part of addressing and interrupting the harms that colonialism continues to perpetuate.

Participating in celebrations such as Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society’s Turtle Island Festival and the Métis Rendezvous is an important and easily accessible way to get engaged. It is fun, experiential and shows your desire to learn and support the ability for Indigenous Peoples to celebrate their cultures and traditions. The Turtle Island Festival runs from 10 am to 7 pm, in front of the Friendship Centre at 442 Leon Avenue. There w

The Métis Rendevous hosted by the Métis Community Services (MCSBC) of BC at City Park runs from 11 am to 4 pm and includes hoop dancing, jigging, drumming and a sashing ceremony. Come see us at the KCR booth! All ages are welcome.

There is more that you can do however, that includes learning and unlearning about Canada’s history (it’s not the job of Indigenous people to teach you), understanding what allyship to Indigenous people can look like, and supporting Indigenous businesses and services. More details on this can be found at where Larissa Crawford, shares great information on the history and opportunities National Indigenous Day offers us all.

One way to practice your allyship locally is to rent meeting space or to volunteer at Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society. They have opportunities ranging from child minding to admin support and special event help. Recently a participant in our Volunteers4All program started volunteering as a kitchen helper and their life has been transformed. They are excited about their weekly opportunity to be a part of the team, to share their skills and to make a difference. They are whole-heartedly accepted into the welcoming space of Chef Caleb, who makes the meals that nourish and enrich the Centre’s participants. To learn more about the volunteer opportunities here, contact Kailyn Yahn at  

The sncewips Heritage  Museum, Monday to Friday, open 10 am to 5 pm at Unit 260 at 525 Highway 97 is also a great place to start and continue your relationship building journey. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum, or book special land tours, core community tours and other learning opportunities. They also offer the opportunity to request consultation or collaboration with Westbank First Nation, the Sncewips Heritage Museum, or the syilx people. Learn more at

Dorothee Birker is the communications & development manager for KCR Community. Resources.