DOIG RIVER, B.C. – For the first time since 2019, Doig River First Nation held its annual Doig Day on Thursday.
Located on the First Nation’s cultural grounds and running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the event showcases the culture and traditions of the Doig River First Nations for School District 60 students.
The district has been making the trip to Doig River for over 20 years.
Students observed or participated in several different practices over the four-hour event, including the process of making moose hide and bannock, drumming, and more.
“It’s so beautiful, I mean, look at all the kids dancing,” Doig River First Nations councillor Garry Oker said.
“It feels so great to share and get people to talk to each other and just have so much fun.”
Oker says that missing out on this day for the last couple of years was hard on everybody.
He was happy to hear how excited the kids were.
“It’s so lovely to hear them scream and just let it all out. It’s so great.”
The reason they started this program was to beat racism.
“Racism starts with ignorance. Not knowing [that] we want to be good neighbours. This has been going on for over 30 years,” he explained.
“I think the big thing is to combat racism and to make sure that people see the great stuff that we do.”
There is a lot of racism to this day, and people don’t understand who the local Indigenous tribes are despite being in the region for thousands of years, said Oker.
“We’re still here. We’re still singing our songs. We still speak our language and tell stories.”
Oker adds that many students tell him that Doig Days is one of the best experiences they’ve had during the school year.
The First Nation plans on expanding the event in the future to work with more school districts.