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Ancient history in Barkerville spotlight

Eighth annual Indigenous showcase at Quesnel-area museum
Barkerville’s Indigenous People’s Celebration is entering its eighth year. (Mia Cirotto photo)

Old local history is celebrating even older local history.

Barkerville Historic Town & Park bids everyone a hearty dahooja, weyt-kp, and hadih as the theatrical and educational living museum invites one and all, local and global, to their 8th Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration.

“Thanks to funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT), this year’s event will be taking place over two days this upcoming August 19th and 20th,” said Rocky Nenka, Barkerville’s manager of commerce and Indigenous relations. “Visitors will get a taste of Indigenous culture and history, and the weekend will include an artists’ market as well as games, dances, stories, and complimentary bannock.”

Evidence of early Indigenous settlement in the region dates back more than 10,000 years, and several Indigenous nations have history and territory in the broader Barkerville area, including Lhtako Dene, Nazko, Lhoosk’uz, Ulkatcho, ʔEsdilagh, Xatśūll, Simpcw, and Lheidli T’enneh. To celebrate this history, each day’s festivities will kick off with a parade at 11:15 a.m. starting at Barkerville’s Chinatown Arch that will lead visitors to the Gathering Place to be welcomed.

Indigenous drumming, dancing and stories will follow at noon with the St‘át’imc Bear Dancers taking the floor at 3:15 p.m. Games will close out Saturday’s schedule, with closing remarks on Sunday at 4 p.m.

“Last year’s Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration was immensely popular,” said Nenka, “so we are excited to see it expand into an entire weekend with help from NDIT. Each day is filled with Indigenous cultural performances and an Indigenous artists’ market with over a dozen vendors including free fresh-fried bannock. It promises to be a weekend you do not want to miss.”

To learn more about Barkerville’s Indigenous Peoples’ Celebration, and to book campgrounds and accommodations, visit