A sacred fire was held at the Williams Lake First Nation community of Sugar Cane Monday, March 15. (Facebook photo)

A sacred fire was held at the Williams Lake First Nation community of Sugar Cane Monday, March 15. (Facebook photo)

Secwépemc Nation hosts sacred fire ceremonies

Prayers and offerings shared in Secwepemcul’ecw

Sacred fires burned across B.C.’s Interior as the Secwépemc Nation shared prayers and offerings after a challenging year.

Outside the Esk’etemc (Alkali Lake) First Nation band office Monday, March 15, south of Williams Lake, a sacred fire burning there was one of many held across Secwépemc communities.

Kukpi7 (Chief) Fred Robbins said it was a unified approach for at least two different items they wanted to send a message about.

“The first one is the loss of all of the First Nations due to COVID-19 and those that are struggling in First Nation communities with COVID and opioids,” he said.

His community, where approximately 500 people reside, continues to await word when more vaccines will arrive after receiving around 180 doses earlier this year.

A lockdown was initiated at Esk’et after a COVID-19 cluster was identified, in which 37 cases would be confirmed.

“We had no losses thank God, but we did have a few members who were admitted into William Lake so that they could be close to the hospital,” Robbins said.

The post-ceremony virtual gathering is tonight at 7pm.

Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/94574649330#success

Meeting ID: 945 7464 9330
Passcode: 563442

Posted by Secwepemc Health Caucus on Monday, March 15, 2021

Some are still experiencing lung trouble and breathing problems despite no longer testing positive for the disease, he said.

“The second part to the sacred fire is for murdered and missing First Nations women,” Robbins said.

“We’d like to send a message to government to follow through with the recommendations that were provided at the Kelowna Accord.”

Many critics believe little progress has been made since the Kelowna Accord, which was to eliminate gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians in areas of education, skills development, housing, health care, access to clean water and employment, was announced in November 2005.

Xatśūll First Nation (Soda Creek Indian Band), north of Williams Lake, noted on a Facebook post that a sacred fire is a way for Indigenous people to connect to their ancestors and loved ones who have passed.

It also provides a renewed sense of purification and the strength to accept new change and move forward.

Items such as tobacco and prayer ties were put into the Xatśūll sacred fire at the Whispering Willows Campsite.

In Esk’et, Robbins and other Esk’etemc First Nation members also sang and drummed around the sacred fire.

“When it comes to First Nations culture and tradition, the sound of the drum and the chants that go with that drum sends a really positive message,” Robbins said, noting the continued need of showing compassion and kindness to one another and reaching out.

“It lifts the spirit of the community and the people that hear the songs.”

Sacred fire hosted by Cultural Coordinator David Archie! Today near the gazebo in Sugar Cane.

Posted by Williams Lake First Nation on Monday, March 15, 2021


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First Nations

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

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Members from the BC Wildfire Service and the Williams Lake Fire Department are conducting controlled burns at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds and at Boitanio Park today, April 20, in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Fire department, wildfire service, conducting controlled burns in Boitanio Park, Stampede Grounds April 20

Locations include at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds and in Boitanio Park

Smoke rising from a slash pile near Canim-Hendrix Road on Tuesday, April 20. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Blaze on Canim-Hendrix Lake Road a false alarm

The smoke was coming from a legal under-control slash pile

Jason and Pharis Romero’s latest album <em>Bet on Love</em> garnered three Canadian Folk Music Awards. Here Patrick Metzger, bass, from left, Jason, Pharis and Marc Jenkins perform at Arts on the Fly 2019 in Horsefly. Both Metzger and Jenkins performed on the album, as well as John Reischman on mandolin. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Romeros’ latest album garners three Canadian Folk Music Awards

Recorded in Horsefly, Bet on Love was released in May 2020

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read