W̱SÁNEĆ territory — Members of the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation and allies in the community will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the reclamation of PKOLS (the name of the mountain formerly known as Mount Douglas) with a community picnic on Thursday May 22, 2014.
The public is invited to gather at the base of the mountain (where Shelbourne meets Cedar Hill Road) at 5pm, walking to the summit for the picnic at 6pm.
“We want to make sure that people remember that the name PKOLS was put back on the mountain,” says Eric Pelkey, hereditary chief and treaty officer for the Tsawout Nation, part of the broader W̱SÁNEĆ Nation whose territory includes the Saanich Peninsula and southern Gulf Islands. “We want to keep it in the forefront of people’s minds. We don’t want it to be forgotten.”
“For us, it is the re-telling of the history behind the signing of the treaty. The treaty is still there. People still have rights under the treaty,” Pelkey says.
Members of the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation are working with other Coast Salish Nations and indigenous and non-indigenous allies to commemorate PKOLS and other indigenous place names in the territory.
“The thunderbird is a spiritual entity,” says Charles Elliot, an artist, carver and community activist from Tsartlip Nation who designed the thunderbird on the wooden sign installed at the PKOLS summit in a ceremony attended by 800 people on May 22, 2013. “It is a high-up symbol which we think is fitting for the action that we are taking. The thunderbird symbolizes the importance of what we are doing.”
People are welcome and encouraged to attend the community picnic on Thursday May 22nd.
For further information, please contact:
Eric Pelkey, Tsawout Nation, 250-480-8526
Charles Elliott, Tsartlip Nation, 250-652-9564