The local First Nations group, in Vancouver, BC, Canada, had the honour of hosting and welcoming the First Nations, Indigenous and conference delegates to the Coast Salish Territory. The Kayachtn (hands-up) Welcoming Ceremony was scheduled during the COACH Conference on Monday June 2nd, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
I was contacted by Steven Raphael, eHealth Development Coordinator for the First Nations Health Authority and requested to witness the welcoming ceremony Kayachtn by the First Nations Health Authority. I accepted this honour and attend the ceremony.
I was asked to be the “West” witness for a traditional First Nations Welcoming Ceremony to the Coast Salish territory.
As a witness, I was called upon to bring their story back with me, to my home and my people.
At the end of the ceremony I was called upon to share with the group; what I witnessed, and what this event meant to me.
As a thank you for my words they gifted me in a Coast Salish tradition.
The following is the gift that I received from the local First Nations group:
I thankful for the gifts and I like to bring this positive message of peace and good health to Victoria and surrounding areas. The ceremony involved the cleansing of mind from negativity and leaving negative thoughts outside in a basket. The ceremony emphasized the need for removing the influence of drugs and alcohol from the daily life. The ceremony made us all family, one big family. Tradition is an important part of First Nations life and it give every First Nation person a true lasting identity.
The next few photos are my recollection of what happened during the ceremony: