B.C.’s Elders Gathering in Penticton unique in Canada

More than 3,500 people attended the 38th annual Elders Gathering in Penticton July 7 to 9.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of Penticton reaches out to an audience member during the grand entry of the delegates to the 2014 BC Elders Gathering at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of Penticton reaches out to an audience member during the grand entry of the delegates to the 2014 BC Elders Gathering at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

More than 3,500 people attended the 38th annual Elder’s Gathering in Penticton July 7 to 9, including Elders and dignitaries from across British Columbia.

The Penticton Indian Band hosted the gathering, which featured a wide range of events including workshops, guest speakers, entertainment, a traditional feast and Pow Wow and Elders dance and social.

The annual Elders’ gathering is unique to B.C. and is not duplicated in any other region of Canada according to Vera Gabriel, who along with her husband Emory were Queen and King for this year’s event.

“That is all it is, a B.C. gathering and nobody else has one,” she told the Penticton Western News. This year, organizers made it the first national gathering and also invited Elders from Washington State.

The reason for the event, the Gabriels say, is to draw together Elders, giving them a chance to share ideas and make contact with their peers from other communities. It’s also an opportunity to socialize, have some fun and regenerate themselves for future work.

The closing ceremonies included passing the baton, or in this case a totem, on to the Tsawout nation from Vancouver Island, which has been chosen to host the 2015 gathering.

The event attracts a number of high profiles sponsors including the following:

Presenting sponsors: Penticton Indian Band, Annual BC Elders Gathering Society, First Nations Health Authority.

Co-Supporting Sponsors: Government of British Columbia, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, New Relationship Trust, OXT Energy Corp, BC Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

Media Sponsor: Black Press

King and Queen Host Partner: Royal Bank of Canada

Diamond Sponsor: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Platinum Sponsors: Arrow Lakes Aboriginal Society, Yellowridge Construction Ltd, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Gold Sponsors: BC Hydro, Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, Pacific Trail Pipelines, Fortis BC

Silver Sponsors: AMEC, Britco, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy, City of Penticton, Global Spectrum, Greyback Construction Ltd, JJM, Mining Association of British Columbia, Mandell Pinder LLP, Kinder Morgan CanadaTransmountain, New Gold, Prince Rupert Port Authority, QTM Logistics Ltd, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, Save On Foods/ Overwaitea Food Group, Skaha Ford, Sodexo Canada Ltd, Spectra Energy, Tech Resources Limited, Westbank First Nation, Progress Energy Canada Ltd, Kitimat LNG/Chevron/Apache, Canadian National Railway

Community Sponsors: Aboriginal Travel Services, Bank of Montreal, Broughton Law, Canadian Dehua International Mines Group Inc, Canadian Pressure Control, Emil Anderson Construction Inc.,  Enowkin Centre, Iredale Architects, Klohn Crippen Berger, Neil Squire Society, Nestle Waters Canada, Pannu Brothers Trucking Ltd, Quickcoach Lines Ltd/ Charter Bus Lines, Snpinktn Forestry LP, South Okanagan Concrete Products, Suncor Energy/ Petro Canada Corporation, Unitex, Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation, Osoyoos Indian Band

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

Just Posted

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from Comox ferry staff

After Dasher made a dash, ferry staff found her and got her home safe

The Coast Range makes a spectacular backdrop for orca heading towards Discovery Passage of Campbell River Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Frank Neil
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic oportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

A rendering of the Denman Green plans for the Kirk Road site. Image, DHA/Ronan Design
Denman Green finds new site for housing

Facing COVID delays, the project reached expiration date on initial site

A fawn stands in a field. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
MARS hoping to build fawn complex for rehab

Their goal is to raise $20,000 in a relatively short period of time.

Aspen Park in Comox is the latest school reporting a COVID-19 exposure. Screenshot, Google Maps
Fifth Comox Valley school reports COVID-19 exposure

Exposure at Aspen Park in Comox was reported for Feb. 22

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

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

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Photo: Lt. Sandy Pridmore, MARS Darlene Banerd, MARS, Warren Warttig and Captain Rob Stevens show the new automatic external defibrillator (AED) that will be located at the MARS facilities located at 1331 William Beach Road, Black Creek. Photo supplied
Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society adds AED to Williams Beach Road location

Submitted Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) has collaborated with the Comox Firefighters… Continue reading

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Most Read