Salt Spring Island Indigenous Peoples Weekend June 21-23!

Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21st) falls on a Friday this year, and so many groups on Salt Spring wanted to do something special to observe the day that a group of organizers has come together to expand it into a 3 day Indigenous Peoples Weekend on Salt Spring. And we would love you to participate!

The dates will be June 21-23. Events and activities on Salt Spring Island will celebrate Indigenous arts and culture, create opportunities for discussion of reconciliation and generally bring the settler and local Indigenous communities together over food, music and activities to explore how we can better walk together in the future.

We are currently inviting all First Nations whose territory includes Salt Spring to participate in any way that works for them. We’ve already received a generous grant from the Salt Spring Island Foundation for honoraria and travel allowances for Indigenous attendees, and will be applying for more. First and foremost, this is a day to honour the Hul’qumi’num and SENĆOŦEN speaking Coast Salish peoples on whose land we live.

All organizations, businesses, groups and individuals on Salt Spring Island (and across the Southern Gulf Islands) are welcome to create an appropriate Indigenous-themed event, help out with an existing event or come up with an entirely new idea. Every group and individual involved will receive orange ribbon kits to wear for the weekend - crafted by the Indigenous Friendship Circle.

The Salt Spring Island Indigenous Peoples Weekend is not a fund-raiser, but those who wish to can donate to the Indigenous Priority Fund at Salt Spring Island Foundation, which has supported indigenous people on and around our island in a variety of ways: the Indigenous Centre at the SSI library; restoration projects and land-acquisition campaigns; honoraria for events, and so much more.

Here are some of the events that are already being planned:
• The Indigenous Centre of the Salt Spring Island Library will be hosting an Indigenous Crafts Market, as well as a story time for kids
• Stinging Nettle Books and Love’s Galette’s are doing a book club discussion of Indigenous rights and reconciliation at Bullock Lake Farm
• The Quw’utsun Cultural Society will be putting on their amazing Journey of our Generation reconciliation workshop on the land in Xwaaqw’um (Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park)
• Salt Spring Arts Council will be bringing in Indigenous artists for demonstrations at Mahon Hall
• The SSI Farmland Trust will be putting on a community-wide Potluck Feast
• There will be a 10 year anniversary event to honour the ancestors at Grace Islet, along with recognizing those who participated in the efforts to protect those laid to rest there
• Opportunities for dance and music demonstrations are being explored
• Mateada Yerba Lounge will be putting on a live/livestreaming music event with great Indigenous musical artists and allies from Salt Spring and around the world

The Salt Spring Arts Council will be launching a new arts/food/nature calendar for Salt Spring at the beginning of June, and the Indigenous Peoples Weekend will be the flagship event. At that time, everyone will be able to enter their event directly to the calendar, and the webpage there will be your destination for up-to-the-minute information on what’s happening each day. Until then, if you have an idea or want to participate, get in touch with us or any of the partners below. Updates to follow!

Contact Info:
Jon Cooksey

May 10, 2024 7:17 AM