The Haisla Nation is inviting all area residents to Kitamaat Village Sept. 29 and 30 for a number of special events and dinners in recognition of Truth and Reconciliation Day.
This is the first year a dinner hosted by the Tamitik Status of Women Association in Kitimat will be combined with the activities in Kitamaat Village. The aim was to both simplify the planning processes, but, in the spirit of reconciliation, also bring the two communities closer together.
“I’m proud of who I am, I’m proud of being Haisla. I can say that today, but that was something a lot of people could never say growing up. Now, seeing the two councils, the two communities working together and starting to build that bridge, people are starting to open their minds, open their hearts,” Shelley Bolton, the community cultural coordinator for the Haisla Council said.
“This type of event is very important.”
On Friday the Culture and Language Department will be hosting a community dinner of a traditional feast stew. Diners are asked to bring only themselves and their own bowls, cutlery and cups. The evening will feature speeches and presentations from residential school survivors.
On Saturday the day begins at 10:30 a.m. with a half-hour walk around the community with survivors, before circling back to the rec centre for a suite of activities that include drumming and singing, games and prizes and learning tables.
Twenty seats are available for a drum-making workshop (also at 10:30 a.m.) followed at 11 a.m. when visitors can learn to braid hair, or make medicine bags and beaded earrings on the learning tables. A local Haisla artist will also be on hand demonstrating his painting and carving techniques.
Foods foods can be purchased from the Haisla elders group who will be fundraising for their causes.
Lastly, a catered dinner hosted by the Tamitik Status of Women Association and sponsored in kind by Rio Tinto and LNG Canada will commence at 5 p.m. This is the third consecutive year Tamitik has hosted a dinner in honour of residential school survivors but the first time it’s moved from Kitimat to Kitamaat village.
“This is going to be the first combined event between the two communities,” Bolton said. “We’ve been wanting to do that since this started.”
People are encouraged to wear orange shirts for all events.