Special Programs

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PLEASE NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Special Programs are cancelled until further notice.

Our Family Is Very Sacred

This is a program that offers holistic and culturally appropriate healing services to urban Indigenous families in the Central Okanagan. This ongoing journey starts with connection/re-connection to culture through healthy activities, getting ‘back to the land’, and connections to Elders and other knowledge-keepers. Knowing who you are is key to healing. This program will help participants re-connect with their culture, ceremonies, and the land. We will learn to live a balanced life according to the Medicine Wheel teachings (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual).

Connection to the Land:

One key aspect to healing and re-connection with culture is to connect with the land. Field trips and activities include:

  • Food and medicine gathering: berry picking, tea picking, sage picking; approaching plants and providing offerings for what you take; learning the seasons in which to gather foods and medicines
  • Canning
  • Treating Mother Earth with the respect she deserves

Seasonal Calendar:

On-going throughout the duration of this program, we will put together a seasonal calendar that will detail times when foods and medicines can be collected, important ceremonial dates, and other yearly milestones. We will construct these open-format calendars with the help of Elders, knowledge-keepers, and group participants themselves. We will also learn the Nsyilxcen names for months, seasons, and other important milestones.

Knowledge is Healing:

Knowledge is an important key to healing. Invited Elders and knowledge-keepers will come and share their stories, experiences, and knowledge with the group. Some of this will include:

  • Story telling
  • Nsyilxcen language instruction
  • Learn about ceremonies, their importance, and purpose
  • Getting ‘back to the land’, and learning about traditional medicines and foods

Ceremonial Connections & Song Catching:

Ceremonies are another key to healing, and most ceremonies touch on all four aspects of the Medicine Wheel teaching. They connect with cultural identity, and are key to living a truly balanced life. Ceremonies such as the sweat lodge, winter dances, Sun Dance, and pow wow will be important components of this program.

Song catching helps with emotional and mental aspects of the Medicine Wheel teaching.

  • Singing: Big Drum and Hand Drum songs
  • Singers will be invited to come and teach songs, and participants are invited to share their own songs
  • Dancing: we will form a dance troupe to share traditional dance with schools, local organizations, and the community at large
  • We will learn traditional and competition pow wow protocols and conduct

Activity is Key:

Activities are also key to healing, especially for the physical aspect of the Medicine Wheel teaching. Some of the activities will include:

  • Regalia making
  • Moccasin making
  • Beading
  • Dancing

When & Where:

  • When: Tuesdays – 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Where: Okanagan Room at the Friendship Centre (442 Leon Avenue – Kelowna)

Also, check our ‘News and Events‘ section for special events connected to this program.

Contact the Friendship Centre for more information or to sign-up for this program.

Funding for this program is provided by the City of Kelowna via the Central Okanagan Foundation, and the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.