Penticton residents have two opportunities this year to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Friday, Sept. 30.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the City of Penticton, among others, will host and support events in honour of the statutory holiday.
First up is a Walk for Children that starts at the Peach in Penticton and sees participants make their way along the channel to the Syilx Indian Residential School Monument.
The event, hosted by the Okanagan Nation Alliance, begins at 10 a.m. Following the five-kilometre walk, the Penticton Indian Band will be hosting a special gathering for Okanagan Nation members.
A Celebration of Indigenous Culture and Resiliency will then run at Gyro Park from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., featuring First Nations dance performances, drumming, singing, arts and crafts, vendors and an acknowledgment of the day.
The event in Gyro Park will be hosted by the Four Seasons Cultural Society. Members of the public are invited to join in on a Round Dance to honour survivors and those lost to Canada’s residential schools.
Attendees are being asked to wear orange shirts, bring lawn chairs and pack a picnic lunch.
“Our society is so pleased to be able to share our culture on this important day,” said Kristine Jack, the society’s executive director. “We hope the community will come and join us for this celebration of Indigenous culture and resiliency and a day of healing.”
A non-profit organization with the mission of preserving First Nations traditions in the Penticton area, the Four Seasons Cultural Society also plans on hosting the 2023 Pow Wow Between the Lakes.
Though this year will mark the fifth-ever edition of the event, it will be the first time the gathering will take place since the discovery of the remains at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.