Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bicentennial Celebration ~ Tk'emlups ~ Kamloops, BC

2 Rivers, 2 Peoples, 200 years is the theme of our Bicentennial Celebrations.  We are one of very few communities in BC that have the benefits of seeing the two worlds coming together as one and as Chief Gottfriedson was quoted as saying, we are “One mind, one heart, one spirit, one Kamloops”.
3 canoes paddling down the river
The voyageurs on South Thompson River
The Kamloops Outrigger club, many dressed in costumes to reflect the bygone era of the beginning of this bicentennial, carried Mayor Peter Milobar and councilors to the shores of the South Thompson River.  3 canoes had paddled downstream to Tk’emlups and arrived at noon.

The canoes stop on the beach and the chief welcomes the party
Chief Gottfriedson welcomes Mayor Milobar
Mayor Milobar, also dressed in costume, and his party were welcomed by Chief Shane Gottfriedson, wearing a fur headdress, to the banks of the river at the Secwepemc Heritage Park as it may have been done 200 years ago.
Drummer and singers greet the visitors
Greetings are done with drum and song
Garry Gottfriedson, uncle to the Chief, and Family singers were there to sing a song of welcome with the drums and add to the ceremony with true Secwepemc spirit. 
Several councilors join the mayor on the beach.
Kamloops city councilors join the mayor
Councilor Nancy Bepple was one of several councilors on the voyage, joined by Marg Spina, Nelly Dever, Ken Christian and Arjun Singh who all participated in the voyage and were welcomed to lunch at the Heritage Park before carrying onto Riverside Park
A flag is added to the canoe
Volunteer Alex adds a flag
Volunteer Alex adds a Secwepemc flag to signify the representation of the two communities travelling in the canoe to Riverside Park.
The canoes leave to go downstream to Riverside Park
Voyageurs paddle the dignitaries to Riverside Park
Once lunch was finished, Chief Shane Gottfriedson and others joined the party in their canoes and set off downriver to join in the celebrations at Riverside Park.  
The train sits on the bridge over the river and welcomes the canoes
The arriving party is welcomed by the Heritage train whistle
Sitting on the bridge over the Thompson River is Engine 2141 and the Heritage Train, dressed in the Queen’s Jubilee flags, and welcoming the canoes and dignitaries with several blasts of the steam whistle.  It was pretty neat to see and hear and had the crowds cheering as the canoes arrived into Riverside Park.
The mayor and chief are welcomed as they arrive to the park
The crowd welcomes the mayor and chief and their party
There was a great crowd at Riverside Park to greet and welcome Chief Gottfriedson and Mayor Milobar and the other dignitaries as they arrived.  There was lots to see during this Bicentennial celebration all set up in the park for all to enjoy for the rest of the afternoon. 
The mayor and chief exchange gifts from each community represented
Mayor Milobar and Chief Gottfriedson trade gifts
Two hundreds years ago, David Stuart, a fur trader and explorer built a trading post called Fort Kamloops on the shore of the Thompson River. Today, as we stood on the same ground that Fort Kamloops once stood, we watched as Chief Shane Gottfriedson and Mayor Peter Milobar traded gifts to celebrate the anniversary of the relationship between our two communities. These gifts will be on display in City Hall and the Secwepenc Museum.
The history of Kamloops is very young compared to so many other parts of the world, including many parts of our country but very interesting. It was wonderful to see the efforts put into this event by many to remind us of what has been accomplished in the past 200 years.

To learn more about the Secwepemc history and the Native Heritage Park, click here.

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