There will no parade for National Indigenous People’s Day this year in Williams Lake as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Angie Mindus/Williams Lake Tribune photo)

Indigenous Peoples Day to go virtual Sunday in Williams Lake

Celebrations will be streamed on Facebook

This year’s Indigenous Peoples Day will look much different in Williams Lake.

Because COVID-19 put a halt to large gatherings, a downtown parade that would be followed with further festivities in Boitanio Park, as had happened last year, was cancelled.

Not wanting to scrap the plans for a celebration altogether, the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council (NStQ) shifted to holding them online on Sunday, June 21.

Read More: National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at B.C. university go online

First time organizer Sabrina Jeff said staff have been busy in getting things organized and set up.

She said due to the large volume of submitted footage which will be included in the Facebook live video, the celebrations will likely go past 4 p.m.

“There has been a lot that has come in over the last few days and it’s pretty exciting.”

With financial support from the First Nations Health Authority, Heritage Canada, and the Williams Lake and District Credit Union, Jeff said many prizes including $175 packages from Margetts Meats will be up for grabs.

The celebrations will be emceed live from the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council office in downtown Williams Lake by Cheryl Chapman and her partner Mike Retasket starting Sunday at noon.

They will be livestreamed on the NStQ Treaty Group Facebook page.

Jeff added NStQ children and families outreach coordinator Kellie Louie will be holding a traditional lahal game at Spirit Square.

“I just hope everybody comes together and celebrates and takes away as much of our culture as possible in a positive light.”

(Note: This article previously reported the celebrations would be livestreamed on the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Facebook page. They are in fact being shown from the NStQ Treaty Group Facebook page)

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