čaxtakakah n̓aas ʔuyi, the day brings me joy, is the theme of National Indigenous Peoples Day in Port Alberni

Port Alberni, BC

National Indigenous Peoples’ festivities resumed in Port Alberni after an interruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic and people showed up in droves at both the Port Alberni Friendship Center and for a day of fun hosted by the people of Tseshaht at their park next to the c̓uumaʕas (Somass) River.

On June 21 the Port Alberni Friendship Center opened their doors to the public at 11 a.m., offering up music, face painting, cotton candy and a free lunch featuring sockeye salmon.

Indoors guests were treated to a dance and story-telling presentation by the Robinson family of Tseshaht. Narrated by Jessica Sault, the presentation featured Nuu-chah-nulth beliefs, culture and teachings that are still observed by many to this day.

Over by the c̓uumaʕas River, the Ts’ishaa7ath (Tseshaht) hosted an open event, offering fun and feasting in the sun. Their theme was čaxtakakah n̓aas ʔuyi – meaning the day brings me joy.

They offered up barbecue salmon, fresh sockeye that had been caught in the river that morning. Lunch was served with salads, hot dogs and hamburgers.

Children played in the river and on the lawn as the adults socialized in the shade. Children were treated to free cotton candy and popcorn.

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