National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration attracts a large crowd in Williams Lake

Floats filled with kids were a main feature in the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Floats filled with kids were a main feature in the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Hoop dancers make their way with the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Hoop dancers make their way with the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Floats filled with kids were a main feature in the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Floats filled with kids were a main feature in the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Floats filled with kids were a main feature in the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Floats filled with kids were a main feature in the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
What parade would be complete without a clown, and this one came prepared with an umbrella for this year’s weather. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)What parade would be complete without a clown, and this one came prepared with an umbrella for this year’s weather. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Exploring the Puddle daycare kids were well-dressed for the weather while watching the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Exploring the Puddle daycare kids were well-dressed for the weather while watching the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Floats filled with kids were a main feature in the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Floats filled with kids were a main feature in the parade for National Indigenous Peoples Day through downtown Williams Lake the morning of June 21, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Star Jeff, left, and Belma Jeff from Tl’etinqox First Nation and Arlene Johnson enjoyed the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade and were heading to Boitanio Park for the celebration. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Star Jeff, left, and Belma Jeff from Tl’etinqox First Nation and Arlene Johnson enjoyed the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade and were heading to Boitanio Park for the celebration. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Phyllis Rosette, left, and Sandra Archie from Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation were busy making bannock during National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitano Park in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Phyllis Rosette, left, and Sandra Archie from Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation were busy making bannock during National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitano Park in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Martina Camille of SXFN calls herself the COVID beader because during the pandemic she taught herself how to bead. She was doing demonstrations during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held in Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Martina Camille of SXFN calls herself the COVID beader because during the pandemic she taught herself how to bead. She was doing demonstrations during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held in Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Arnold Lucier, left, and Marlene Swears of the Cariboo Chilcotin Métis Association cook up hamburgers during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Arnold Lucier, left, and Marlene Swears of the Cariboo Chilcotin Métis Association cook up hamburgers during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake city councillor Sheila Boehm mans the city’s booth at the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Williams Lake city councillor Sheila Boehm mans the city’s booth at the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Reign Gilbert, 7, skillfully walks on the slack line during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Reign Gilbert, 7, skillfully walks on the slack line during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Sky Johnson, 14, from Esk’etemc was dressed in regalia for the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held in Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Sky Johnson, 14, from Esk’etemc was dressed in regalia for the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held in Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Noella William, centre, goes over the rules for the Bannock making contest during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Noella William, centre, goes over the rules for the Bannock making contest during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Pam Alphonse, left, of Tl’etinqox First Nation and Ehtan Garland, youth worker for Yeqox Nilin Justice Society participate in the National lndigenous Peoples Day parade in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake photo)Pam Alphonse, left, of Tl’etinqox First Nation and Ehtan Garland, youth worker for Yeqox Nilin Justice Society participate in the National lndigenous Peoples Day parade in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake photo)
Violet Quon, 9, and her sister Current, 3, had their faces painted during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Violet Quon, 9, and her sister Current, 3, had their faces painted during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Joan Rosette and Joseph Paul from Esk’etemc enjoy a cup of fresh brewed Indian tea served at the Tsilqhot’in National Government booth during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Joan Rosette and Joseph Paul from Esk’etemc enjoy a cup of fresh brewed Indian tea served at the Tsilqhot’in National Government booth during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Valerie West, organizer of the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in Williams Lake receives recognition after WLFN Chief Willie Sellars, SFXN Chief Hank Adam, Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, TNG spokesperson Daana Gilpin and Xatsull Chief Sherri Sellars each shared a message with the crowd. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Valerie West, organizer of the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in Williams Lake receives recognition after WLFN Chief Willie Sellars, SFXN Chief Hank Adam, Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, TNG spokesperson Daana Gilpin and Xatsull Chief Sherri Sellars each shared a message with the crowd. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Phyllis Rosette, left, and Sandra Archie from Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation were busy making bannock during National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitano Park in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Phyllis Rosette, left, and Sandra Archie from Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation were busy making bannock during National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at Boitano Park in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Off and on rain fall did not dampen the spirits of people attending the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Off and on rain fall did not dampen the spirits of people attending the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration held at Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
The Tsilhqot’in National Government float saw participants prepared for the weather at the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)The Tsilhqot’in National Government float saw participants prepared for the weather at the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Valerie West, with the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council, thanks everyone for the support she received to organize the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade and celebration in Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Valerie West, with the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council, thanks everyone for the support she received to organize the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade and celebration in Boitanio Park. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Local siblings Austin Summerfeld and Aubree Alexis carry the Every Child Matters banner ahead of Tyman Jobin during the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Local siblings Austin Summerfeld and Aubree Alexis carry the Every Child Matters banner ahead of Tyman Jobin during the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
(Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

National Indigenous Peoples Day kicked off in Williams Lake on June 21, 2022, despite a slight drizzle.

A parade through the downtown was the start of a day of celebrations which continued from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Boitanio Park.

The parade went from First Avenue and then up Oliver Street and ended at Boitanio Park where hundreds of people, including school students, were in attendance.

Dozens of organizations had booths with demonstrations, food, activities for children and giveaways, while on the stage there were speeches and performances.

Under the picnic shelter there was a bannock making contest with eager judges ready to do the taste test and there was a Lahal tournament held in the park.

Valerie West of the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council, who organized the celebration, thanked everyone for attending and for the support and guidance she received as she set out to put the event on.

“This is the biggest event I’ve ever put on,” she said. “Enjoy your day and thank you, thank you, thank you so much for coming out because this is something that we needed to get us all back together.”

This year’s theme was “honouring our future leaders” and West said it was great to see so many children attending the celebration.

“We need allies and we need to be holding each other up as non-First Nations and First Nations people and standing together,” said Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars. “The world is changing and in order for our communities to heal this is exactly what we need – to be coming together.”

Mayor Walt Cobb and members of city council participated in the parade and had a booth at the park.

“I want to recognize that we are on the original homelands of the Secwépemc people and we are here to celebrate Indigenous Day and enjoy the day,” Cobb said, adding he hoped Mother Nature would cooperate.

Orange Shirt Day founder Phyllis Webstad and Esk’etemc hereditary chief Irvin Johnson said it was great opportunity to catch up with people.

“I’ve never participated in a parade period, much less come out to this event because I usually have so much work to do,” Johnson said. “It’s fabulous.”

Webstad said she had enjoyed some bannock made by women from her home community of Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation.

“It’s good to be among friends and be out once again.”



ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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