Drums beats and singing in the nsyilxcən tongue were heard at Windfield Memorial Hall Saturday, as part of the 23rd annual Winter Family Gathering Traditional Pow Wow.
Edna Terbasket, president of the Lake Country Native Association, has been heavily involved with the powwow since its inception. As an active member of the First Nations community and executive director with the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, Terbasket was constantly greeted by relatives and friends during the opening dances.
The powwow originally started because there was a need for kids to have a place to meet others and to do cultural activities and learn about their heritage, she said, while holding her great-granddaughter in her arms.
“I live here so I wanted to do something in my community and with the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, we have our Turtle Island Festival for National Aboriginal Day,” she said. “My family is everything.”
“She is my grandson’s baby, so she will be a part of this. She is a part of this. I know our future is in a good place because they’re going to make a bigger difference than her (great grandmother).”
Terbasket said truth and reconciliation is at the forefront of discussions nowadays, and she encourages others to get to know who they are and be proud of their ancestors.
They went through the Indian Act, we’re still living through the Indian Act, they’ve got through the residential schools and you have to think (about the many generations of trauma), the Sixties Scoop…” she said.
Deputy superintendent Terry Beaudry, with Central Okanagan Public Schools, spoke during the opening ceremony, saying her mother is a residential school survivor.
Roughly 2,700 students from 61 different bands are part of the school district, she said.
The powwow was open to everyone, and Terbasket hopes it also these events bring different members of the community together, to learn about indigenous culture.
“(My great-granddaughter) is going to speak her language, she’s going to know her history. She’s going to know the land and all the important landmarks. She’s going to know her medicine. She’s going to know,” Terbasket said.