Barkerville Historic Town & Park is honoured to announce the return of its popular Indigenous Celebration special event on BC Day – Monday, Aug. 1.
As one of three anchor special events that Barkerville has reintroduced to its 2022 season, the seventh (semi) Annual Indigenous Celebration is particularly special this year.
The event will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 1, with a very special flag ceremony that’s been more than a year in the making.
On May 29, 2022, on the one-year anniversary of confirmation of the graves of 215 Indigenous children discovered at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, Barkerville replaced three flags at the entrance to Barkerville Historic Town & Park that it had lowered to half-staff for 365 days of mourning.
This BC Day two additional flags will be raised alongside the new British Columbia, Canada, and British flags, representing the Dakelh (Carrier) and Secwépemc (Shuswap) peoples for whom Barkerville and the Williams Creek valley represent important traditional territory.
The flag raising event will be followed at 11:30 a.m. by a renaming ceremony for Barkerville’s recently built Pavilion. The Pavilion will henceforth be known as Mitlite Iskum, which is a Chinook jargon term meaning “gathering place.”
The renaming ceremony will be followed by drumming, dancing and stories provided by Mike Retasket and Cheryl Chapman, the leaders of Barkerville’s full-time Indigenous Interpretation program.
After Barkerville’s 2 p.m. Theatre Royal show (which, for the first time in 152 years features invited Indigenous performers onstage) there will be Indigenous games and closing remarks at the Barkerville clearing, starting at 3:30 p.m.
“We are so pleased to be working with our Indigenous partners on this extra-special annual event,” said Kate Cox, Barkerville’s chief executive officer. “For too long Barkerville’s connection to local First Nations communities has been misunderstood, and we are thrilled to be able to change that perception this year.”
For more information about Barkerville’s 7th (semi-annual) Indigenous Celebration, or any of Barkerville’s 2022 daily or special events, please visit www. barkerville.ca or phone 1-888-994-3332.