Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua drives his wagon with his uncle Marvin William beside him departing Toosey during last year’s wagon tip. Gailene William photo.

10th Annual Xeni Gwet’in Youth Wagon trip begins June 22

Riders will spend eight days on the road before entering during the Grand Entry at the Williams Lake Stampede

The 10th Annual Xeni Gwet’in Youth Wagon trip gets under way June 22, 2018. The trip will be eight days long leaving 9 a.m. on Friday June 22 from Konni Lake Beach and arriving in time for the grand entry of the Friday evening performance of Williams Lake Stampede on Friday June 29.

The daily schedule for the trip:

June 22, 2018 – Konni Lake Beach to the top of Vedan Creek (50 km on 900 Road)

June 23, 2018 – Vedan Creek to 18 km on 900 Road then turn off and head 2 km in to campsite area

June 24, 2018 – Campsite to Big Creek Hall

June 25, 2018 – Day off at Big Creek Hall. Activities in the morning for youth, evening activities for all.

June 26, 2018 – Big Creek Hall to Sugarcane Jacks. Evening ceremony will take place in the evening at the top of Farwell where the wagon accident was last year.

June 27, 2018 – Sugarcane Jacks to Farwell Canyon

June 28, 2018 – Farwell Canyon to Meldrum Creek

June 29, 2018 – Meldrum Creek to Williams Lake arriving approximately 6 p.m. at Williams Lake Stampede Grounds for evening grand entry/evening performance.

Chief Jimmy Lulua will be driving his own wagon from Nemiah Valley all the way to Williams Lake thanks to Roy and Gwen Mulvahill for dedicating one wagon for his family. Roy and Gwen Mulvahill will have three wagons on the start of the trip and possibly add more wagons along the way throughout the trip.

The wagon committee strongly encourages more youth and participants to ride saddle horse throughout the trip. The days do get long, so youth are always willing to ride half a day then pass on their horse to another youth to ride the second half of the day.

In 2017 my twin boys Jacob & Zack William (six years old at the time) rode their Uncle Jimmy Lulua’s horses for the first time on the wagon trip and fell in love with horse back riding thanks to their Uncle Jimmy and cousin Kaitlyn for giving them riding lessons and tips.

This year they asked their uncle well in advance to save them one horse each so that they can ride from Nemiah all the way to Williams Lake.

The wagon committee is hosting a two-day Farrier Clinic in Nemiah Valley on June 16 and 17 to have the participants horses properly shod by local farrier Raphael Williams.

Ulkatcho has approximately 14 participants joining the wagon trip this year. Trevor Mack will be along for the ride as well filming a documentary of Xeni’s annual wagon trip.

The Xeni Gwet’in Wagon trip committee and participants thank all local traffic and logging truck drivers for kindly slowing their vehicles and logging trucks down as they safely pass the group.

June 18 is the deadline for registering to participate in the wagon trip.

For further information about the wagon trip you can contact Annie S. William, Monday to Thursday at the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government at 250-394-7023 or toll free 1-866-394-7023.

 

Gailene William photo The 2017 Wagon Trip group crosses Sheep Creek Bridge just after going by the Highway 20 construction where the road washed out last year.

The 2017 wagon group gathers on morning of day 3, departing to the Big Creek Camp. Gailene William photo.

Twins Jacob William on Buster (left) & Zack William on Spirit (right) on day 6 of 2017 wagon trip at the Meldrum Creek camp. Gailene William photo

Chief Jimmy Lulua with his twin nephews Zack William on the left, Jacob William on the right. Gailene William photo

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