The Ooknakane Friendship Centre is hosting a community event at Gyro Park in Penticton to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day on Tuesday, June 21 from 3 to 6 p.m.
The national holiday is a celebration of the culture, history and legacy of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Ooknakane Friendship Centre wants to share that with Penticton residents.
“Indigenous people around the world see their children as their future and so, we are celebrating the future of our community with this family-friendly children’s celebration,” says Echo Lyons, who works as the Indigenous Youth Support worker at the Ooknakane Friendship Centre.
“Our hope is to empower our future generations with knowledge through interactive fun and games. Our culture also teaches us to share that knowledge and Tuesday is a chance to do that in a positive way.”
The day features close to 20 community organizations. The free family-friendly event will feature music, crafts, arts and prizes. The event will kick-off at 3 p.m. with an Indigenous blessing. There will be hot dogs available by donation, with all proceeds supporting the Ooknakane Friendship Centre’s food services.
“We are excited for the opportunity to celebrate Indigenous People in the community, while also having the opportunity to raise funds for the important food services we provide in the community,” explains Crystal Schneider, who helps oversee the food services at the Ooknakane Friendship Centre.
“Not only are we a registered food bank with almost 2,000 people served in 2021, but we also provide breakfast and dinner outreach for our city’s vulnerable population. With rising food costs and so many shortages, we rely heavily on partners in the community to make our ends meet so we can provide these services.”
The City of Penticton is supporting the Ooknakane Friendship Centre in organizing the event, including bringing different community partners together to participate.
“We are very honoured to work alongside the Ooknakane Friendship Centre to support National Indigenous Peoples Day in the community,” says Jamie Lloyd-Smith, a community mobilizer with the city. “It’s a really important day for everyone to enjoy and learn something. And most importantly, to celebrate Indigenous People and the incredible work of the Ooknakane Friendship Centre.
Donations can also be made by visiting the Ooknakane Friendship Centre website.
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