The Old Fort Traditional Dancers have been attending the Williams Lake Stampede and entering the Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Parade since 2003. Missing it this year, they are going to pay tribute to the Stampede with songs and dances on Saturday, July 4 in their home community. (Photo submitted)

Doris Munger and Old Fort Traditional Dancers plan tribute to Williams Lake Stampede

The Babine First Nation group has been attending the Stampede, parade since 2003

A First Nations dance group from Northern B.C. plans to pay tribute to the Williams Lake Stampede on Saturday, July 4.

Elder Evelyn George of the Doris Munger and the Old Fort Traditional Dancers said they will perform dances and songs in their community of Old Fort which is part of the Lake Babine Nation, northeast of Granisle on Babine Lake.

“We are doing it as we cannot attend this year with it being cancelled because of COVID,” George told the Tribune.

The group has been coming to Williams Lake since 2003 and members usually stayed at Chief Will-Yum Campground or Whispering Willows Campsite, George said.

Desiree Loyie, president of the dance group, said attending the Stampede and participating in the Daybreak Rotary Stampede Parade was first initiated by her grandmother, Louise Alec.

“We have a big family, my grandma and grandpa Joe Alec had three boys and seven girls. Grandpa passed away in the late 90s and grandma thought a trip to the Stampede would help with our healing — we really missed grandpa.”

Loyie said they always enjoy the street party, the parade and the rodeo, adding they are big fans of bull riding.

“It is something we look forward to every year.”

Grandma Alec passed away in 2004, and they kept attending in memory of her.

“She stays close to our hearts and when we are camping there we feel like we are camping with grandma. It’s such a nice family time for us. We even check out Blue Lake.”

Upon hearing about the dancers’ plan to pay tribute, Williams Lake Stampede Association president Court Smith said it shows there is a connection beyond Williams Lake to the Stampede.

“It truly is world famous,” Smith said, adding there are many groups and people who visit the Stampede every year.

“Some people even come all the way just to volunteer,” he added.

Loyie said they hope to go live with the tribute on their Facebook page at about 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 4.

In the past the group has won several times in the parade for their float, with a first place in 2018, third place in 2016 and best dressed animal in 2013.

Read more: Daybreak Rotary Stampede Parade results announced



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

What is a rancher doing writing about pigs in the middle of haying?

Like local beef purchased from trustworthy sources, the same can be said about sourcing pork.

Yunesit’in Chief Russell Myers Ross not seeking re-election

Yunesit’in First Nation will have a new leader come Sept. 9

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read