Thousands of people from across British Columbia were in Duncan this July for the 42nd annual BC Elders Gathering. Hosted by the Cowichan Tribes, the three day event took place in the Island Savings Centre arena and garnered an estimated 5,000 attendees, including 2,500 elders from across the province. Accommodation for attendees was provided at numerous locations spanning from Nanaimo to Victoria. Premier John Horgan was amongst the delegates honoring this special celebration in Duncan at the opening ceremonies..
The Gathering’s theme for this year was ‘I tst ‘o’ hwun’ ‘I, which means “we are still here.” The theme speaks to the resiliency of the elders and their efforts in rebuilding, reconnecting and revitalizing their culture for future generations while fostering respectful harmonious relationships. The three days were filled with workshops, tours, guest speakers, performances and a traditional fashion show.
Many of the workshops were designed in collaboration with the First Nations Health Authority to provide valuable health-related information to event attendees. As Cowichan Tribes Chief William (Chip) Seymour expressed, the three days were designed for “Elders to enjoy themselves and nurture their spirit, connecting with one another and gaining inspiration as Elders for the special role they have in community.”
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