Azariah Johnny smiles as she decorates a rock at one of the many stations hosted by Denisiqi Services Society staff. Tara Sprickerhoff photos

Busy event for Denisiqi Family Fun Day

Denisiqi Services Society hosted more than 130 people during their fun day on Tuesday

Laughter, conversation and plenty of activity was apparent on walking into the Williams Lake Longhouse on March 27.

Families gathered at the spot for a Family Fun Day hosted by the Denisiqi Services Society. With activities for all — anything from making dream catchers, to rock painting, to reading with your parents, and playing matching games with Tsilhqot’in language cards, more than 130 parents, grandparents and their children stopped by throughout the day.

“It’s a celebration of the end of winter,” said Denisiqi executive director, Nancy Sandy.

Each staff member from Denisiqi manned an activity for kids to try out and garner stamps to win one of a number of prizes.

Denisiqi provides a number of services to the community for Tsilhqot’in and Ulkatchot’en youth and families, including family support, Aboriginal child and youth mental health, Aboriginal early childhood education, and a daycare.

“This is an opportunity for parents to come together with their children and have fun,” said Sandy.

It’s important, she said, because it helped facilitate moments like a young boy reading with his mom, so engrossed in a book he wouldn’t look up to let Sandy take his picture.

“It’s a team effort, it’s a team family day.”

Lunch was provided at the event — bannock and chili for those who came early, and pizza for those a little later.

At 1 p.m. Xeni Gwet’in singer Rebecca Solomon performed some of her breathtaking music, while children continued to play and parents visited.

“I’m enjoying it,” said dad Wilfred Robbins, who sat making a dream catcher with his son Keane Philbrick. He said he jumped at the opportunity to spend the day with his kids and other families.

Philbrick seemed excited to share some of the activities he learns at Little Chief’s Primary School at Sugar Cane with his father.

“We’re making dream catchers, because I always do it at my school — we learn the traditions of the Shuswap, we learn Shuswap words and rings and medicine bags,” he said, adding that “it’s cool” to do it with his dad.

“I’m happy to see everybody here,” added Robbins.


Wilfred Robbins and his son, Keane Philbrick, sit together making dream catchers as part of the Family Fun Day activities put on by Denisiqi.

Xeni Gwet’in artists Rebecca Solomon performed for the gathered crowd of families, demonstrating her singing and musical prowess.

Joann Setah carefully decorates Khloe Robbins face with paint. Setah travelled in to volunteer with the fun day and many children in the Longhouse had elaborate designs decorating their faces.

Bella Alphonse (left), the cultural worker with Denisiqi, plays Tsilqot’in language matching card games with children at the Family Fun Day. Kids had to get a stamp from each of the stations in order to qualify for a prize. Tara Sprickerhoff photos

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