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.

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria High School. (Black Press Media file photo)
Alumni Association abandons plans for eight-lane track at Vic High

SD61 spokesperson says easement, which makes 8-lane track impossible, left out of consultation

Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak appreciates the efforts of residents and business owners who took part in the VicPD community survey. The questionnaire saw a combined nearly 1,000 respondents from Victoria and Esquimalt. (Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD survey says: overall satisfaction positive, accountability needs work

Respondents feel safe during day, not so much at night; more police presence would help

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is looking for this man, who they say stole a charity box. (Facebook/Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Crime Stoppers looking for man who stole charity box from Saanich grocery store

Anyone with information asked to call Crime Stoppers

Sooke man Rik Downer spent two weeks in the Royal Jubilee Hospital after contracting flesh-eating bacteria. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Sooke man’s bumped knee leads to fight for life

Man unknowingly contracts case of rare flesh-eating disease

Kwick’kanum (Eric Pelkey), a hereditary chief of the Tsawout Nation, addressed the crowd that gathered at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights

Supporters call on government to recognize Indigenous treaty rights

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read