Brody Naknakim

Tribal Journeys Talking Stick presented to city council

The Talking Stick was passed to the City of Campbell River Monday night as anticipation for the event builds.

The Talking Stick – a symbol of the “massive” Tribal Journeys cultural event – was passed to the City of Campbell River Monday night as anticipation for the event builds.

The official Tribal Journeys Talking Stick was presented to the two 2017 event hosts – the We Wai Kai and We Wai Kum First Nations – at the close of last year’s Tribal Journeys in Nisqually to acknowledge the future hosts.

At Monday night’s council meeting, Rod Naknakim, president of the Nuyumbalees Cultural Society which is coordinating the event, presented the Talking Stick to the City of Campbell River while his son, Brody Naknakim, performed a traditional song and blessing.

Naknakim said he was pleased to “pass the Talking Stick on to the city for two months as part of the Tribal Journeys undertaking to host the peoples that are coming.”

The Talking Stick will spend the entire year in our region, visiting both the We Wai Kum and We Wai Kai offices, as well as the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre on Quadra Island and the Strathcona Regional District’s corporate office.

Naknakim has previously said Tribal Journeys is a “massive undertaking” that will bring more than 5,000 people to the communities of Cape Mudge on Quadra Island and Campbell River.

Tribal Journeys is a 25-year annual tradition that promotes cross cultural and intercultural exchange among First Nations families who travel to the host community by boat.

Roughly 100 canoes are expected to pull into Cape Mudge on Quadra Island on Aug. 5 and then Campbell River on Aug. 7.

Paddlers will be welcomed with a traditional ceremony, a gift exchange and a public feast on both sides of the water.

Mayor Andy Adams said the city is looking forward to helping host the event.

“The City of Campbell River is extremely honoured to work with the We Wai Kum and We Wai Kai in bringing this event to our collective communities,” Adams said, adding that the Talking Stick will be “prominently on display” in the foyer of City Hall in celebration of Tribal Journeys.

“Tribal Journeys will be a tremendous experience for all of us here in Campbell River and we look forward to working in partnership with the We Wai Kai and We Wai Kum to make it the best success it can be.”

Tribal Journeys will celebrate the histories and culture of various First Nation families from around the world who will be coming to our region.

The event has been ongoing since 1986 when the Glwa canoe family paddled 500 kilometres from Bella Bella to Expo ’86.

Tribal Journeys was officially born in 1989 when the Glwa family invited all canoe families to their territory.

The event is an economic boon to the host each year. Last year in Nisqually, 102 canoes took part, attracting 8,000 spectators to the Port of Olympia.