Tsawwassen First Nation celebrated the 13th anniversary of the Effective Date of the Treaty Final Agreement on Sunday, (April 3).
Treaty Day began with speaker and executive council Member Chemkwaat (Valerie Cross) addressing the community and welcoming respected Elder Qw’estanya (Ruth Adams) to say an opening prayer. Jesseca and Connie Adams followed the prayer with a beautiful drum and song.
Coun. Cross thanked the Tsawwassen People before us who passed on their songs and teachings, who came forward when they were called to do these events. They taught us how to respect the drum and join our hearts as one and beat together. Cross also thanked the community for taking time out from their Sunday to dress warmly and gather.
“We’re so excited to gather together - we don’t care what the weather’s like,” said Cross.
Celebrating new and old traditions, the community was able to share a barbeque meal provided by officers from the Delta Police Department while enjoying the new sports field and Youth Centre. Homemade goodies, crafts and artwork from TFN artisans were available for sale at the tented craft fair outside. For some community members, this was their first opportunity to see the new facility while checking out the cultural displays from TFN’s Language and Culture department staff.
TFN has come a long way since the first Treaty Day celebration that was held in the Longhouse 13 years ago.
In her speech, Cross thanked the Tsawwassen People, family, friends, Chief and Executive Council for their support. She went on to commemorate all the Elders who came before us and offered their guidance. It is with their support, strength, courage, wisdom, and love that we are here today.
-Submitted by Tsawwassen First Nation