Colleen Laughlin is organizing this year’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration for the NSTQ. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Colleen Laughlin is organizing this year’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration for the NSTQ. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

National Indigenous Peoples Day events planned for the Cariboo Chilcotin

Every year Canadians mark the day on June 21

A parade, celebration in a park, a film night and an all-day event at a ranch are some of the ways National Indigenous Peoples Day will be marked in the Cariboo Chilcotin Wednesday, June 21.

Colleen Laughlin, office coordinator and reception with the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council, is organizing a parade and celebration at Boitanio Park in Williams Lake with a theme of family togetherness.

Beginning at 10 a.m. the parade will depart from First Avenue South, proceed up Oliver Street to Seventh Avenue, ending at Boitanio Park.

From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. there will be games, Lahal, bouncy castles, a clown, food and craft vendors in the park.

The popular bannock belly competition is back as well, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone wanting more information should contact Noelle William at or call 250-392-7361.

Vendors wanting to book a booth, which is free, need to contact Laughlin at or call 250-392-7361 ext. 200.

Parade participants can register their float also by contacting Laughlin.

City councillor Michael Moses will MC the Gwen Ringwood stage presentations.

During the regular meeting Tuesday, June 6, Moses encouraged all of council to attend the celebration.

The Tsilhqot’in National Government is screening Graveyard Valley, a 30-minute film by Jeremy Williams produced by the Seton Lake Indian Band.

Graveyard Valley is the site where the last St’at’imc and Tsilhqot’in war took place.

Though peace had been declared in the 1940s it was not until 2003 the people officially buried the hatchet, notes the film’s poster.

“Both nations collectively joined to honour those who had passed and declared their intensions to protect their lands from further development. In 2007 the St’at’imc and Tsilhqot’in Nations came together and constructed a monument in Graveyard Valley to honour their fallen heroes.”

Showing at Paradise Cinemas, admission is free. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. There will be a question and answer period after the film.

Everyone is invited to attend the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration hosted by Yunesit’in First Nation at what is presently called Deer Creek Ranch in the Chilcotin.

Chief Lennon Solomon said the nation purchased the ranch at the end of September 2022 from the owner and is in the process of renaming it.

“It is adjacent to I.R.R #1 and is about 1,700 acres,” he said.

The event will go from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and everyone is welcome.

To access the ranch travel west on Highway 20, left at the Big Creek Forest Service 700 Road until it forks at the Big Creek 900 Road. Go up the 900 Road, pass through the community of Yunesit’in to reach the ranch.

Solomon said the Deer Creek Ranch is one of many the nation is looking at.

So far the community is planning a women’s shelter with a women’s improvement program, a healing centre, a long-term elders care facility and an indoor riding and equine therapy program for the ranch.

Equine therapy has been one of the most successful treatment plans the community has embarked on, Solomon said.

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