58th Annual June Sports

This Father’s Day weekend the ‘Namgis First Nation is hosting the 58th Annual June Sports here in Alert Bay, BC, and this little island is super busy! Okay, it isn’t exactly bumper to bumper traffic, but there is noticeably a lot more visitors and families here for the weekend. There are lots of people walking around in their team jerseys, little kids kicking soccer balls in emulation of their big brothers and sisters, and elders watching from the side lines.

On Thursday night, the event started with the 29th Annual Salmon Prince & 58th Annual Salmon Princess Pageant. The pageant is an opportunity for Kwakwaka’wakw youth between the ages of 12-18 years old to demonstrate their pride and cultural knowledge. The contestants stood together in the Big House, and were each judged on their oral presentation and sharing of a song, dance or legend. And each contestant was given extra points for being able to speak in Kwakwala.   

I was raised with such shame around my Indigenous ancestry, and I do not want to pass that shame on to the next generation. I always remind my children to be proud of who they are and where they come from. Even though we are living away from the territory where we come from, we have our own ways of sharing our knowledge with our boys. As a half breed from Saskatchewan, I am honoured to be here raising my children together with these proud Kwakwaka’wakw kids. I am constantly inspired by the youth and children in this community, and on Thursday evening at the pageant I was blown away by the courage of the youth to present themselves in front of hundreds of people in the Big House. Their families and teachers have done well. Oh, and to the young girl who was braiding my hair while I watched the pageant, thank you!

2015 Salmon Prince, Jakob Dawson and Salmon Princess, Shantal Cook.

2015 Salmon Prince, Jakob Dawson and Salmon Princess, Shantal Cook.

Junior Salmon Princess is Hanna Speck.

Junior Salmon Princess is Hanna Speck.

Junior Salmon Prince is Jul

Junior Salmon Prince is Julian Bruce.

Contestant Naomi Triebwasser.

Contestant Naomi Triebwasser.

Contestant Tanisha Williams.

Contestant Tanisha Williams.

Contestant Laura Bullock who is Tanisha's older sister.

Contestant Laura Bullock who is Tanisha’s older sister.

2016 Salmon Princess is Danielle Barnes.

2016 Salmon Princess is Danielle Barnes.

Contestant Dante Willie.

Contestant Dante Willie.

2016 Salmon Prince is Big Boy aka Shane Cook.

2016 Salmon Prince is Big Boy aka Shane Cook.

Helpers, mentors and teachers; Alexis, Pewi and Lauren.

Helpers, mentors and teachers; Alexis, Pewi and Lauren.

Young and younger singers at the log.

Young and younger singers at the log.

Naomi sharing a traditional dance.

Naomi sharing a traditional dance that she was recently handed at the Nolie potlatch.

Laura sharing a traditional ladies dance.

Laura sharing a traditional ladies dance.

Danielle giving a short explanation of the dance she is going to share.

Danielle giving a short explanation of the dance she is going to share.

Tanisha sharing a traditional Kwakwaka'wakw dance.

Tanisha sharing a traditional Kwakwaka’wakw dance.

Shane sharing his favourite dane the Hamatsa.

Shane sharing his favourite dance the Hamatsa.

Dante sharing a tradiitonal Kwakwaka'wakw dance.

Dante sharing a traditional Kwakwaka’wakw dance.

The retiring Salmon Princess and Prince, all candidates and Junior Salmon Prince and Prince dance to a song during the blanket dance. The money raised from the blanket goes towards a scholarship fund for each successful candidate.

The retiring Salmon Princess and Prince, all candidates and Junior Salmon Prince and Princess dance to a song during the blanket dance. The money raised from the blanket goes towards a scholarship fund for each successful candidate.

-Amanda Laliberte

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s