REPORTING · 5th August 2010
Skeena Diversity Society held their monthly potluck this past Saturday as part of Riverboat Days. Skeena Diversity holds a potluck on the last Saturday of each month. Each time a new person takes a turn hosting the night on a theme of their choice.
This month's theme was First Nations history in the Skeena Valley, hosted by Colleen Austin, with stories told by Larry Derrick.
The potlucks are part of Skeena Diversity's efforts in making Terrace more welcoming and inclusive to newcomers and immigrants.
The centre has become a place for people to come in and chat and find out what is happing in the community. The potlucks are another one of Skeena Diversity's unique ways of using the space of the centre in addition to community hosted workshops and showcasing artwork.
The potluck was a feast in more ways than one.
The First Nations food was just the tip of the iceberg. A First Nations dessert called soap berries, prepared by Charlotte Guno, was devoured by guests. As the desserts were being eaten, Larry Derrick informed guests that traditionally, during the time when people were eating soap berries, that was when stories were told. In keeping with tradition, Larry told a First Nations story about the history of cedar.
Later on, as part of the evenings events, a video was shown called Raven Tales. Raven Tales is a digitally animated series that retells First Nations stories using different characters such as a talking frog and eagle and more.
The theme and purpose of the evening was made complete, by not only the stories told by Larry or the soap berries made by Charlotte, or even all the First Nations art that was displayed around the room, but by all those who were there to see and learn about the First Nations history of the Skeena.
In a phone conversation after the event with Colleen, she expressed her views on the importance of this event in helping people realize that when they come to this territory, they are meeting people who's ancestors have been here for a very long time, and that they have a very rich culture.
Colleen said she thought it would be nice to have a another Riverboat Day's event that showcased First Nations culture.
She continued on to talk about how some felt enlightened by what they had learned, and that for one individual, it has inspired them to talk about and share the story of their arrival.
Overall, the evening showcased the importance of First Nations history and culture in welcoming people to this land. Hopefully this will help bridge connections in the community and make Terrace more welcoming and inclusive.
In line for food
Telling of stories
Skeena Diversity Society