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Former dancers hope to return after Lhtako arbour is built

Anna Boucher hopes to dance with her children this summer at the Lhtako Dené Nation
Rhianne (Anna) Boucher is excited a new powwow arbour being built at Lhtako Dené Nation. She remembers she and her family dancing at the old one as a child, and shared this photo of her brothers, Davish and Jon Longe and cousins Shaylee Jack and Marissa Boyd. (Photo submitted)

Anna Boucher is feeling nostalgic as construction on a new powwow arbour at Lthako Dené Nation continues.

Boucher remembers dancing at the community’s old arbour when her grandfather, Frank Boucher, was chief.

“I used to dance with my brothers at the powwow,” she recalled.

The powwow arbour was torn down more than twenty years ago as it started to show its age.

READ MORE: Powwow arbour under construction at Lhtako Dené Nation

Its simplistic design will pale compared to a new arbour currently under construction behind Lhtako Dené Hall.

“It was nothing like the beautiful, more permanent arbour that will be built today,” Boucher said.

Logs are being hand-peeled by members and will feature a number of carvings representing the logo and clans of the Lhtako Dené Nation.

She later shared an old photo of her brothers Davish and Jon Longe with her cousins Shaylee Jack and Marissa Boyd when they were young children wearing their regalia at the old powwow arbour.

The culturally significant facility can serve various purposes for Indigenous members, including powwows and other cultural and spiritual gatherings.

A longhouse which will serve as a meeting space for the Lhtako Dené Nation and other area Dakelh Nations, including the Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, the Nazko First Nation and the Ulkatcho First Nation, is also under construction.

“The longhouse and arbour have been dreamed of for quite some time but we were able to secure funding for that in November of this past year,” band manager Ron Ramussen said, adding they hope to have it completed by July 31, 2022.

When the day of the opening finally comes, Boucher hopes to be dancing once again inside, this time alongside her children.

READ MORE: Healing journey continues for Quesnel-area St. Joseph’s Mission survivors years later

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