Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

Page 1


Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21, 2021

WHAT’S INSIDE • A tribute to local artist Phillip “Opie” Oppenheim • A cabin filled with artifacts to honour Métis culture • Photos from the Lower Nicola Indian Band’s “Walking our Ancestors’ Spirits Home”

Published by the Merritt Herald

2 • THURSDAY, June 17, 2021



The sacred art of Indigenous drumming

Drumming has always been, and continues to be, an important part of First Nations ceremonies, traditions, and cultural practices. Morgan Hampton REPORTER@MERRITTHERALD.COM


rumming has always been, and continues to be, an important part of First Nations ceremonies, traditions and cultural practices. A drum is one of the earliest types of instruments, first appearing as early as 6,000 BCE and being used by people all over the world, from China to Peru to Greece and Egypt.

Students drum as part of the Lower Nicola Indian Band’s “Escorting our Ancestors’ Spirits Home” walk on June 11. Ruth Tolerton/LNIB

Drums are often considered sacred amongst Indigenous peoples, representing the heartbeat of

people, animals and Mother Earth herself.

See ‘LOCAL’ Page 3



JUNE all21of-the2021 2018 Grads on a bright, successful f

Congratulations to our amazing grads! Good Grads: Anthony Tulliani,Thomas Girard and L Dairy Queen

Indigenous Peoples Day NATIONAL

Dairy Queen Grads: Anthony Tulliani,Thomas Girard and Lois Yyen D Congratulations to our amazing grads! Good luck to yo all of the 2018 Grads on a bright, successful future!

The City of Merritt is proud to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples. The City of Merritt is located on the unceded traditional territories of the Nle?kepmx and Syilx people. City Hall: 2185 Voght Street • P: 250.378.4224 Email: •

is proud to recognize and support Indigenous Peoples’ Day and would like to further acknowledge the First Nations of Merritt and the surrounding area. 3673 DeWolf Way, Merritt BC • 250-378-5030


THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 • 3

Local drums represent the ‘Circle of Life’ From Page 2 According to information compiled by Northern College: “For First Nations Peoples, the drum represents the universal heartbeat of Mother Earth, the Universal goddess and mother to us all. The first sound that was heard in the world was the heartbeat of Mother Earth. First Nations Peoples manifest this heartbeat through playing a special rhythm on the drum. This rhythm facilitates healing and the realignment of the four realms of human existence (Mental, Spiritual, Emotional and Physical) because the Creator revolves around the rhythm. The drum, when combined with the voice, creates a hum that rests between the voice and the drum, and is thought to be the spirits of the Ancestors.” The Nicola Valley encompasses some of the traditional territory of the Nlaka’pamux and Syilx peoples. While some Indigenous peoples, such as the Tsimshian and Kwakwaka’wakw, make and play box drums, those used locally are round. The circle represents balance and completeness, an infinite, unbroken series of connected points. This is a common theme across cultures which is often referred to as the ‘Circle of Life’. Drums are made by stretching an animal hide over a wooden frame until it is taught, and then lacing the underside. This holds the skin in place and also provides a handhold for the drummer. Most drums are made of cedar wood, which is relatively lightweight and easy to work with. It is also considered to have spiritual and medicinal properties that benefit the drummer. Animal hides are often collected by the drum maker, who harvests the meat, tans the hide and then uses it to create a drum. Deer is the most popular, although you may also see drums made of elk, moose or even buffalo hide as well. Drums range in size from small enough for a child to hold, to large enough to seat several drummers around at a ceremony or powwow. It can take anywhere from one day to several weeks to make a drum, and they may be left plain or embellished, with the user free to paint or decorate the skin with anything that may be meaningful to them. This could be the handprints of family members, an animal with spiritual significance, or even a painted landscape. To receive a drum as a gift is a blessing; you may even be encouraged to give 2601 NICOLA AVENUE, away the first drum you make. MERRITT, B.C. Drums are treated with the utmost respect, always properly stored, cared for 250-378-5141 and transported. Drummers may say different prayers before, during and after drumming, and offer thanks for the materials used as well as the medicine provided through drumming.

Proud to serve our Aboriginal Community!

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Indigenous Peoples Day 2021


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4 • THURSDAY, June 17, 2021


Proud Supporter of National Indigenous Day June 21, 2021

Remembering a local artist: ‘Opie’ Oppenheim

Opie’s son, David, sat down with the Herald to talk about his father and his legacy. STORY PG. 5 Thrift Shop, 1803 Voght Street

National Indigenous Day

A Day To Be Proud of who you are. 1750 Hill Street, Merritt 250-378-4332


Indigenous Peoples Day! STORE HOURS 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM 7 Days a week


GAME ON Sports Bar & Grill

is proud to support & recognize the Indigenous community We are open and offering our full menu. Dine in or take out for your convenience.

DRUGStore™ Pharmacy Hours Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Saturday: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Sunday: Closed

RESERVATIONS ARE WELCOME. 2760 Forksdale Avenue, Merritt

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Our kitchen hours are 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. every day 250- 315-1022

• 3701 De Wolf Way, Merritt (Take Exit 290 Off Hwy 5)

THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 • 5



pie’ Oppenheim was a wellknown, well-loved and respected artist in the Nicola Valley, as well as a pillar of the local Indigenous community. “My father, Phillip Raymond Oppenheim, better known as ‘Opie’, was proud to be a born and raised Merrittonian,” said son David. “He would often tell people he grew up in a one-horse town, and said it with pride.” Those who have driven through the Coldwater Reserve south of Merritt will no doubt have passed ‘Opie’s Studio’, a place where Oppenheim explored many different artistic avenues throughout his life. “He was drawn to art at a young age,” said David. “Between the combination of years spent in residential school and the hospital he found some refuge in art.” Opie was a survivor of the Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS), where the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried in a mass grave has recently shook the nation. However, Opie had to walk a hard road before he finally came to the realization that he was meant to be an artist. Like many survivors of Residential School, where students faced years of abuse and trauma, Opie turned to drugs and alcohol to help him cope. “It was later in life he pursued his dream of becoming an artist,” David explained.

“He found himself living in Vancouver and hitting rock bottom, having drugs and alcohol almost claim his life several times. This is when, with the help of a few who loved him, he began to strive for a better life. In the early eighties he moved our family of five from Vancouver back to where he grew up, the Coldwater Reserve.” It was then, after returning home, that Opie finally felt free and able to create. His art mediums varied; from paintings, soapstone sculptures, canvas originals and art cards to placemats, T-shirts, silver and gold engraved jewelry as well as painted pottery and wooden jewelry boxes. His most recent passion had been Native American flutes, the popularity of which soon soared, with one hardly being finished before a new one was ordered. Opie’s flutes made their way around the world, ending up in Mexico, Germany and even Ireland, as musicians vied for ‘an Opie’. This no doubt came down to Opie’s dedication to workmanship. In 2019 he told the Herald: “I strive for quality. Quality sells itself. Junk, you have to try to sell it.” “Amidst all of his creations and inventions he found time for more,” said David, who noted his father was also a motivational and keynote speaker, a professional comedian and an advocate for many causes near to his heart. In that same Nov. 2019 Herald interview, Opie touched on his See ‘HEALING’ Page 6 speaking career.

Proud to be part of the

ABORIGINAL community!

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final Pizza Deliveries: 4:30 - 8 pm • 250-315-0087

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Store: 250-378-9557

Located 7 km from town on Highway 8 West

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day We have our eye on the same destination – a sustainable future where Indigenous people are recognized for their wisdom and honoured for their culture.


2052B Quilchena Avenue

Proud to serve the Aboriginal Community from everyone at

From everyone at Located at 1951 Garcia Street 250-378-6808 (250) 378 6808 Located 1951 Garcia Street Lower Nicola IndianatBand Development Corporation is proud to support

National Indigenous Peoples Day

Lower Nicola Indian Band


6 • THURSDAY, June 17, 2021


Healing through art

Happy National Happy National Happy National Happy National Indigenous Indigenous Happy National National Happy Indigenous Peoples Indigenous Peoples DayDay Indigenous Indigenous Peoples Day Helping Others Helping Others Peoples Day Peoples Day Peoples Day Helping Others

HelpingOthers Others Helping Others Helping



Recognizing Recognizing Recognizing the the the contributions of Indigenous People across our Country. Recognizing the Recognizing the contributions of contributions of across Indigenous People across ourofCountry. contributions of Indigenous People across our Country. contributions of People across our Country. Indigenous People ourculture Country. A day A day of celebrating indigenous and contributions ofIndigenous Indigenous People across ourheritage. Country. Recognizing thecultureand celebrating indigenous culture heritage. AAday of of celebrating indigenous and heritage. The Board and Staff ofand day celebrating indigenous culture and heritage. A day ofcelebrating celebrating indigenous culture and heritage. A day of indigenous culture heritage. From Page 5 contributions of Indigenous People across our Country. The Board and Staff of Conayt Friendship Society The Board and Staff of The Board and The Board and StaffStaff of of 2164 Quilchena Ave, MerriA, BC 250-378-5107 “I’m honoured and proud to have spoken at over 160 sober conventions,” Opie said. Conayt Friendship Society “I believe in helping other people be OK.” Conayt Friendship Society A day of celebrating indigenous culture and heritage. 2164 Quilchena Ave, MerriA, BC 250-378-5107 Society Conayt Friendship

“Oh yeah, he would also make the odd person laugh,” said David. “Inviting them to join him for some diet chow mein as he would practice his comedy material. Many have said that he overflowed with talent, anything he wanted to accomplish he would find a way. He also overflowed with kindness, compassion and love. As a survivor of residential school that spent years upon years doing what he See ‘ARTIST’ Page 7 could to heal. He would do whatever he could to help those

Conayt Friendship Society 2164 Quilchena Ave, MerriA, BC 250-378-5107 2164 Quilchena Ave, MerriA, BC 250-378-5107 2164 Staff Quilchena Ave, MerriA, BC 250-378-5107 The Board and of Conayt Friendship Society 2164 Quilchena Ave, MerriA, BC 250-378-5107

We would like to send our support to our Aboriginal community on Indigenous Peoples Day

Lower Nicola IndianBand Band Lower Nicola Indian Lower Nicola IndianBand Celebrating our heritage, Celebrating our heritage, our people, Celebrating our heritage, our language, our culture our people, people, and workingour for our prosperous future.

our language, our culture our language, and working for our prosperous future. our culture and working for our prosperous future.


This message brought to you by

THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 • 7


Let us all come together and celebrate the contributions of the Indigenous people in shaping our country.

Artist humble until the very end From Page 6 around him do the same by sharing his story and showing compassion, kindness and understanding to others.” Opie remained a humble man, in spite of his successes. He never strove to be famous, only to do and be his best. “He literally enjoyed his craft,” David explained. “Whether it be his art, speaking engagements, comedy shows, playing his flute or answering phone calls any time of day for those who needed an ear, he gave his full attention to all of it.” Opie passed away on May 15, 2021. Despite the grief and difficulty of losing his father, David has been able to find the positives in the situation. “I smile when I think of him being there to help welcome the 215 home,” said David. “When I had to choose his clothes for his journey, I chose his two favourite shirts. His black ribbon shirt and under that he has his ‘Every Child Matters’ shirt on. What an honour and privilege to spend 44 laps around the sun with the most amazing man I’ve ever met, and call him my dad. His

Nicola Valley NLAKA'PAMUX Community Justice Services Society

BOX 819, MERRITT, BC • TEL: 250-378-5010 Help us celebrate our

INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY! June 21, 2021 New patients are always welcome. 2088 Quilchena Ave. (beside Royal Bank) PO Box 3090, Merritt, BC V1K 1B8

humorous ways and flute music will echo in the Nicola Valley for years to come.”

Call: 250-378-5877

We take Status and Ministry Plans at no additional cost.


215 Every Child M 215 Every Child Matters

The staff members

The staff members o of NHSS would like a happy and safe to wish everyone a N

happy andme safe The staff National Indigenous Peoples Day! a happy an

2088 Qui

215 Every Child Matters

215 The staff members of NHSS would like to wish everyone Every Child Matters 215

a happy and safe National Indigenous Peoples Day! ery Child Matters

2088 Quilchena Ave. Merritt, B.C. V1k 1B8 (250)-378-9772. The staff members of NHSS would like to wish everyone 2088 Quilchena Ave. Merritt, B.C. V1k 1B8 (250)-378-9772.

8 • THURSDAY, June 17, 2021


Lower Nicola Indian Band School


THE LOWER NICOLA BAND SCHOOL INVITES ALL CHILDREN (First Nations/Non First Nations) To Register for Kindergarten to Grade 7

“FREE” Daily


• Full-time Kindergarten – must be 5 yrs by Dec 31, 2021 • Bus Services provided to all areas of Merritt.

HEAD START SERVICES: • 3 & 4 year old Program (K4 must be 4 yrs old by Dec. 31, 2021) • Parent & Tot Drop In • Home Visiting Program • Transportation provided for all Head Start programs • Mom’s & Tot’s Services 0 to 6 years old

CURRICULUM: • New BC Curriculum • Nle?kepmx • Cultural Studies • Field Trips • Learning Assistance Program • School supplies provided • SKATING/HOCKEY PROGRAM • Joyful Literacy

FACILITIES: • Full-Size Gymnasium • Library • Baseball/Soccer Field

FOR MORE INFORMATION Education Comes First

Lower Nicola Band School Ph: 250-378-5527 201 Horn Rd., Merritt, BC

ion Educat st Fir Comes

THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 • 9


Memorial garden coming to NVIT

Indigenous Peoples Day June 21, 2021

Merritt Mayor Linda Brown called it “an honourable project.”

Morgan Hampton REPORTER@MERRITTHERALD.COM Conayt Friendship Society submitted a request to council on May 25 that the City donate five large boulders to be incorporated into a Memorial Garden that will honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The Memorial Garden will be developed at NVIT’s Merritt campus, utilizing an open space in their parking lot which already features pine trees and a path. Local chiefs, community elders and the parents of MMIWG will be consulted as the Memorial takes shape. “The importance of this garden will be the creation of a space that people can go to, to sit in prayer, reflection, nature, peace and serenity,” reads a letter addressed to council by Kelly L’Hirondelle, Executive Director of

Conayt Friendship Society. “The committee collectively expressed the importance of water in the garden; water is symbolic for healing and peace.” However, local landscaping firm, Cantri Landscaping, which was hired to undertake the project, recommended against a water feature due to concerns around cleanliness, maintenance and wintering. Instead, they have created a concept which will give the illusion of water, and utilize the existing path. “The top of the path will be the symbolic beginning of a stream,” continued L’Hirondelle’s letter. “The stream will flow through the pine trees to an arbour at the bottom of the path. Once it gets to the arbour it will need to be redirected onto the path again to flow out. Each side of the arbour will have large See ‘GARDEN’ Page 15


Proud to recognize



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Highland Valley Copper Together we honour this day in recognizing diverse cultures, unique heritage and valuable contributions of Indigenous Peoples. June 21 National Indigenous Peoples Day.



On behalf of Aspen Planers, we celebrate the contributions of our Indigenous communities.


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10 • THURSDAY, June 17, 2021


Replica cabin a treasure trove of Métis artifacts Nicola Valley residents teach schoolchildren the rich history of the local Métis people.

Proud to acknowledge

National Indigenous Peoples Day John Isaac


Ph: 250-378-6181 • F: 250-378-6184 3499 Voght Street, Merritt, BC V1K-1C6 M E R R I T T

Nicola Valley Métis residents Doug and Pete at the replica cabin. Morgan Hampton/Herald

Morgan Hampton REPORTER@MERRITTHERALD.COM Deanna Heard, her husband Pete, sisterin-law Dolly and fellow Nicola Valley Métis resident Doug, share Métis history and cul-

ture through the use of a replica cabin, which houses a treasure trove of artifacts and educational items reflecting the traditional Métis way of life. “Doug and Dolly and Pete See ‘CABIN’ Page 11

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Online registration/exam PreEmployment Verificationrequirements NVIT offers a Community Public Regular pay and benefits NVIT offers a Community and and Public requirements 3. Online registration/exam 3. registration/exam Member Salary:package. 2. Eye &Online Hearing Testing pay and benefits package. pay andpackage. benefits Safety program totrain train for in in Safety program forCareers Careers Polygraph and background check 4. Good Character Safety program to train for Careers in 4. Good Character program to train forto Careers Public Safety. in Public Safety. 4. Good Character *Be willing totorelocate *Be willing relocate Public Safety. (estimated) Regular Member Salary: 8. VerificationMedical/Dental 3. Online registration/exam PreEmployment VerificationPreEmployment adineg t TPraayPublic in! ing Safety. Pa y ! Cadet TraCin Regular Member$53,144 Salary: Salary: Regular Member At engagement: VerificationPreEmployment Polygraph andanywhere background check anywhere inand Canada Polygraph background check Psychological in Canada (estimated) Regular Member Salary: RCMP CadReCtsMnPoC wadreectseinvoewarneceive an 4. Good Character Verification-PreEmployment (estimated) After (estimated) 6 months: $69,049 Polygraph and background check 8. Medical/Dental 8. Medical/Dental 9. Enroll as a Cadet-26 wks At $53,144 Atengagement: engagement: (estimated) At12 engagement: $53,144 $53,144 allowance aolflo$w5a0n0cepeorf $w5e0e0kpdeur rwinegek during months: $74,916 Psychological 8. Medical/Dental Polygraph Psychological Regina . and background check 6 $69,049 $69,049Weeks training in9. Enroll a Cadet-26 wks After 6After months: 24 months: $80,786 At engagement: $53,144 the 26 weetkhetr2a6inwineegkpterariinoidng period After 6 months: months:$74,916 $69,049 9. Enroll as a Cadet-26 wks as THE RECRUITING Psychological 12 months: THE RECRUITING 8. Medical/Dental Psychological Weeks training in Regina. 123 months: $74,916 years: $86,110 After 6 months: $69,049 Weeks training9.inEnroll Regina. as aPROCESS: 24 months: $80,786 Cadet-26 wks 12 $80,786 months: $74,916 24 months: PROCESS: 9. Enroll as a Cadet-26 wks . 3 years: $86,110 12 months: $74,916job For more information: There are numerous Weeks training in Regina 3 years: $86,110 For morePlease information: 24 months: $80,786 There are job contact the Merritt 24 numerous months: $80,786 trainingQualifications in Regina. 1. Meet & possibilities for regular, civilian or Weeks Please contact Merritt RCMPthe if you are interested in 3 years: years: $86,110 Meet Qualifications & 3 $86,110 possibilities for regular, civilian Requirements RCMP if youeither are interested in public service members. Weor also the Cadet Training Requirements THE MERRITT RCMP DETACHMENT publicoffer service members. We also either the Cadet Training Program or MERRITT RCMP 2. Eye & Hearing Testing job security and an attractive THE RCMP DETACHMENT Program or RCMP 2. 3.Eye & Hearing Testing NVIT offers a Community and Public offer job security and an attractive Online registration/exam pay and benefits package. THE MERRITT RCMP DETACHMENT WISH SINCERELY THANK Safety program toand train for Careers TO in TO NVIT offers a Community Public WISH SINCERELY THANK 3. 4.Online registration/exam Good Character pay and benefits package. Safety. in Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 7pm • Sat. 9am - 6pm • Sun. 11am - 5pmSafety program to trainPublic for Careers 4. Good Character WISH TO SINCERELY THANK PreEmployment VerificationOURHARDWORKING HARDWORKING INDIGENOUS POLICING SECTION OUR INDIGENOUS POLICING SECTION Regular Member Salary: Public Safety. Polygraph and background check PreEmployment VerificationWHO ARE: Cpl. Rick AIRD, Cst. Tracy DUNSMORE, WHO ARE: Cpl. Rick AIRD, Cst. Tracy DUNSMORE, Regular Member Salary: (estimated) OUR HARDWORKING INDIGENOUS POLICING SECTION


Proud to be a supporter of

Indigenous Peoples Day June 21, 2021

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THE MERRITT RCMP DETACHMENT 8.Polygraph Medical/Dental and background check WISH TO SINCERELY THANK Cst. Tammy DENNING and Cst. Rose GRANT. Cst. Tammy and Rose GRANT. At engagement: $53,144 (estimated) WHO ARE: Cpl.DENNING Rick AIRD, Cst.Cst. Tracy DUNSMORE, Psychological After 6 months: $69,049

8. Medical/Dental

At engagement: $53,144 Enroll as a Cadet-26 wks Cst. Tammy DENNING and Cst. Rose GRANT. 9. Psychological OUR HARDWORKING INDIGENOUS SECTION 12 months: $74,916POLICING Weeks training in Regina.

THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 • 11



Cabin owner’s father a Métis Society founder From Page 10 and I would go to the schools,” said Deanne. “We used to pack all this up and go to the schools. But all the schools are within walking distance, except Lower Nicola. So, we stopped packing all this up and dragging it around, and my husband Pete built me this little cabin and we display it all here, and the schools come here now, and we teach them.” Five or six students are given a tour of the cabin while their classmates wait outside and are given hot chocolate, tea, bannock and cookies, being entertained by Doug and Pete, who answer questions and tell Métis stories. “They ask a million questions, and we do the best we can to answer them,” Deanna joked. Pete’s father was an original founder of the Nicola Valley and District Métis Society in the early 1980s, when the Métis were recognized as Aboriginal Peoples under the Constitution Act of 1982, which also recognized the First Nations and the Inuit. At that time, there were approximately 400 Métis people in the Nicola Valley who had previously been identified simply as ‘non-

status’ Indigenous people. So, who are the Métis people? Métis is a French word, which translates approximately to ‘mixed blood’, although Métis people are descended from Indigenous peoples and specific European descendants who can trace their lineage to the Red River settlement. “Métis people are a mixed nationality between native and white people,” said Doug. “They called us the Métis people, because we’re mixed blood. We self-identify as Métis, not as native.” The Métis are descended from the First Nations people of Canada and some of the earliest European explorers and settlers, who travelled to the New World to chart the territory and gather furs for export to Europe. “The Europeans came over to trap for the Hudson’s Bay, and the First Nations women took them in, and they intermarried,” said Pete, who noted that most of the fur traders would not have survived once their supplies were exhausted, or throughout the first harsh Canadian winters. “And the women looked after them and kept them alive

On this day, let us all as citizens of Canada pledge to acknowledge the contributions of the Indigenous people and do our best to support them!

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See ‘PERIODS’ Page 12


Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

Today we are celebrating and honouring Indigenous people of Canada.

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12 • THURSDAY, June 17, 2021


Periods of exile brought Métis people closer

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From Page 11

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and taught them their ways.” These traders were typically Scottish, English and French. Doug’s great grandfather came from Scotland and married his great grandmother, a Cree woman known as Grey Eyes, making his grandfather a status native. “The government took that away because he wanted to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company, and so they took his status away, just like people who wanted to join the army,” Doug explained. “So, we’ve been Métis all these years since.” Métis culture very closely resembles the cultures of the tribes that the fur traders married into. These were typically Cree, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Wabanaki, Algonquin, Nakoda and Lakota. “It’s not very different (Metis culture compared to First Nations culture),” said Deanna. “Because it was the native women that carried on the culture and raised the children, as natives, or mostly native.” However, Deanna explained, there were tensions between First Nations people and the Métis. The Métis were not always permitted to live alongside the recognized First Nations tribes, and were also not welcome to stay in the forts and settlements with the European settlers. “They eventually became known as the road allowance people, because the whites didn’t want them and the First Nations didn’t want them, so they were shifting back and forth and here and there.” Métis people began to travel together and build communities on marginal, unwanted land or Crown Land that had been set aside for the creation of roads in rural areas, hence the term ‘Road Allowance People’. These communities often followed temporary employment opportunities, generally hard physical labour for which they were paid very little, creating See ‘BEADWORK’ Page 13


19+ Call 250-378-5 420

Nicola Valley & District Metis Society

PROUD TO CELEBRATE OUR METIS CULTURE. WE WOULD LIKE TO SEND OUR SUPPORT AND WISHES TO ALL INDIGENOUS PEOPLE FOR A STRONG FUTURE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. If you would like more information on our society please call 250-378-5015 or 250-378-0076 email: • Facebook: Nicola Valley Metis



We would like to extend a warm thank you to all our First Nations people. We are proud to serve the Aboriginal community

Peoples Day

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THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 • 13

Beadwork, furs on display at cabin From Page 12

hardship and poverty. This was supplemented with traditional means of living such as the gathering of plants and medicines and buffalo hunting. However, this period of migration and exile helped to bring the Métis people closer together and identify as a distinct people with their own culture. This includes the beautiful, intricate beadwork that the Métis have become known for, which takes its styling from English embroidery and became popular amongst Métis women who began to incorporate glass beads into their work, which already included porcupine quills, when the English settlers began to bring their wives to North America. “This is why the metis are called the ‘Flower Bead’ people, a lot of their beadwork has the flowers, from the English and the embroidery,” said Deanna, who displays traditional beadwork and porcupine quill jewelry, as well as examples of traditional ‘tufting’. “The tufting comes from the northern peoples, where the Inuit are mixed in.” Also on display are furs such as beaver and bobcat, leather mitts and beaded moccasins or mukluks a traditional footwear. An Assomption or ‘arrow’ sash rounds out the memorabilia. Nicola Valley Métis residents Deanna and Dolly. Morgan Hampton/Herald About twelve inches wide and eight feet long, the colourful sash has become synonymous “It would be around your waist to pack shells, guns, knives, anything like that. They’d be with Métis culture, and is considered symbolic to Métis people. used as a sling if you broke your arm or your leg, to drag your horse out of the mud, to lift Although traditionally worn by men, they are now worn by most self-identifying Métis of with, it was a multi-purpose thing, it wasn’t a decoration, as it is today, it was a tool.” any age or gender to showcase their heritage. For Métis people, who have faced a rocky road seeking to be acknowledged as Indigenous “Those big ones were used for packing 100- or 120-pound packs, to go across country, people, and still face difficulties today in asserting that role, Indigenous Peoples Day is an when they had to carry their canoes to another area,” said Doug, referring to the act of opportunity to share and take pride in their culture. portaging, which sometimes caused fur traders to carry their canoes and supplies for many “It’s about recognition,” said Pete. kilometres. “And the gathering of the Métis people,” Deanna adds. According to Deanna, the tassels at the end of the sash were used for several purposes, with “Not to be ashamed of who you are,” said Doug, who struggled with his own identity as a knots being tied off to serve as a calendar of sorts, counting off days of a journey, or to keep a person of Cree descent. record of how many furs had been harvested. “To just go out and be who you are. It’s a lifelong thing, and it never goes away.” “These strings were used to sew up your flesh if you had a wound,” explained Deanna.

Everyone is Welcome

to attend Scw’exmx Child & Family Services’

Feel the Beat Program

Open to anyone, adults, youth, elders, families, native, non-native.

Everyone is Welcome

to attend Scw’exmx Child & Family Services’

Feel the Beat Program

Open to anyone, adults, youth, elders, families, native, non-native.

It is offered every Tuesday It is offered every Tuesday and Thursday at the Shulus and Thursday at the Shulus Monday, June 21, 2021 Hall from 4:30 to 9pm!!! Bring Hall from 4:30 to 9pm!!! Bring food,we’re it’s Potluck Style it’s Potluck Stylecontinuing In Canada, fortunate enough to have one of food, the richest and oldest cultures in the world. This is something we should all be proud of and celebrate Come out and see what it’s all Come out and see what it’s all SERVICES OFFER: Prevention, the Beat, Family Group Conference about,WE bring your family, Youth bringSupport, Feelabout, bring your family, bring (FGC), Child & Youth Mental Health, Child Protection, For Caregivers, Kinship Care, Foster Care. a friend, invite others for a friend, invite others for some good family fun!!! some good family fun!!! Scw’exmx Child & Family Services Society

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

2975 Clapperton Avenue, Merritt BC V1K 1G2

For more info please call the Cultural more info1-877-378-2773 please call the Cultural Telephone: 250-378-2771 • Toll-FreeFor Number: Program Coordinator (250) 378-2771Concern or ProgramHours: Coordinator at (250) 378-2771 or Childat Protection After Office 1-800-663-9122 email: email: Children’s Help Line: 310-1234 (For children and youth)

Everyone is Welcome

to attend Scw’exmx Child & Family Services’

Feel the Beat Program

Scw’exmx means “People of the Cre ek” in the nłe?kepmxcin language. Scw Open adults, ’exmx to Childanyone, and Family Services Soc iety FSS) is families, family-centere youth, (SC elders, native, d and guided by nłe?kepmx and syilx trad itional non-native. knowledge and principles. SCFSS serves and is guided by Coldwater Ban d, the IterisNic offered every Tuesday Low ola Indian Band, Nooaitch Band, and atolathe Shulus Sha ckanThursday Band, Upper Nic Band and the Urb an Indi genous Hall from 4:30 9pm!!! Bring popto ulation of the Nic ola Valley.

food, it’s Potluck Style

SCFSS utilizes prevention and pro tection strategiesout withand Come the see collectwhat ive goait’s l to all keep children with their families about, bring your family, bring and communities. If short term pro tec tion a friend, others for service s are reqinvite uired, SCFSS engages family, commun some good ity, andfamily Elders tofun!!! support cultural identity, familial and terr itorial connections with the purpose to bring the childre Forn more please callesthe SCFSS recogniz histCultural orical cha llenges Coordinator Program at (250) 378-2771 and are guided by trad itional or strengt h wisdom to build family and email: community capacity in a monume ntal shift from protection to prevention.

14 • THURSDAY, June 17, 2021


Walking with ancestors Lower Nicola Indian Band members walked on June 11 in honour of the Kamloops 215, in what was dubbed ‘Escorting our Ancestors’ Spirits Home.’ Ruth Tolerton/LNIB

Scw’exmx Tribal Council y a D s u o n e ig d n I l a n io t a N COLDWATER INDIAN BAND PO Box 4600 2249 Quilchena Ave., Merritt, BC V1K 1B8 250-378-6174


PO Box 3700, 2225 Village Road, Merritt, BC V1K 1B8 250-350-3342

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The Scw’exmx Tribal Council would like to Celebrate National Aboriginal Day and wish everyone a summer celebration commemorating Aboriginal Heritage and Culture.


Coldwater Indian Band, Upper Nicola Indian Band, Shackan Indian Band and Nooaitch Indian Band. Visit our website for more up-to-date information


THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 • 15


Garden project created to honour MMIWG From Page 9 boulders for the water to hit and flow over. There will be three boulders on the right-hand side and two on the lefthand side.” In addition, the garden will feature benches, a path of pebbles, interlocking brick under the arbour as well as a collection of local plants and grasses that will be planted along the path and amongst the boulders. A plaque will be mounted to inform visitors of the meaning and importance of the Memorial Garden. Funding for the project has been provided through Women and Gender Equality Canada. NVIT will donate the wood and labour for the arbour, and Conayt will approach the local First Nations bands to donate grasses and shrubs from their communities. Much of the site prep and planting work will be done by volunteers. In response to the request for boulders, which the City already has at its disposal, Councillor Mike Bhangu

We are proud to recognize & support

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY and would like to further acknowledge the First Nations of the Nicola Valley. & Appliances Ltd.

Proud Supporter of National Indigenous Day moved a motion of support. “I would like to move that the City of Merritt donate five boulders to this initiative here, and allow them to choose those five boulders,” said Bhangu. “It’s an honourable project that we’d like to be a part of,” said Mayor Linda Brown. The motion was passed unanimously, and Conayt will receive the boulders at a later date.

The Staff of the Merritt Herald would like to thank the Aboriginal community for their continued dedication to educating and upholding your cultural traditions, language and philosophies. We would like to take this time to honour the aboriginal peoples of Merritt and surrounding areas. We dedicate this supplement to you!



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16 • THURSDAY, June 17, 2021

National Indigenous Peoples Day

A day to recognize and celebrate the unique culture and beliefs of Indigenous People in Canada