As part of a commitment to carry on the work of Elders, the Syilx Nation Salmon Feast Celebration takes place this weekend in Okanagan Falls.
Okanagan Nation Alliance communications officer Tara Montgomery said in a press release that part of that work is the importance of preserving and revitalizing traditions, customs and language.
“Along with continuing snxa?l’iwlem the importance of the Salmon Feast is highlighted by the return of sc’win (Okanagan Sockeye Salmon) to Syilx territory. The annual Salmon Feast is an essential practice in the continued organized efforts of the Okanagan Nation Alliance and member communities to also raise awareness in regards to the importance of the habitat protection and rehabilitation of local ecosystems, watersheds and a renewed connection between all residents of the region in regards to water and fish,” she said. “It is vitally important that we honour the salmon so they will always come back to feed the people.”
The site in Okanagan Falls is culturally significant and an important traditional fishing camp, gathering place and trading site.
The Salmon Feast is a three-day event with multiple activities including: a canoe paddle, a 2.5 kilometre and five km run/walk, stick game tournament, performances. ceremonies and on Sept. 17 a salmon feast and ceremony. Traditional games and stick games start at 5:30 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 15), the canoe paddle starts at Skaha Lake Marine at 10 a.m. on Sept. 16. The opening and welcoming ceremonies take place on Sept. 17 at 10 a.m., followed by the salmon feast at noon.