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

Just Posted

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Agassiz Agricultural Hall hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinics every Wednesday. District officials reported more than 300 doses are administered per week. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Walk-in COVID vaccine clinic scheduled for Wednesday

Walk-in appointments available while supplies last from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read