Langley and Whonnock sites for First Nations summer walking tours

The public is invited to free walking tours that spotlight local First Nations history and culture.

Nature is the foundation of the summer walking tours hosted by Kwantlen First Nation and even ultimately dictates whether the tours take place.

Local storyteller and educator Fern Gabriel leads tours that spotlight the history and First Nations culture of the land. The tours are centered around McMillan Island, home of the Kwantlen’s mainreserve, and Fort Langley.

In addition to stories and information Gabriel shares, there’s typically things people want to know.

“We always get questions about environment so I share stories of that,” Gabriel said.

Nature ultimately dictates whether the walking tours go ahead as scheduled.

“If there is a heat wave, we definitely will not do the walks, and severe smoke,” she explained.

There’s not need to sign up in advance. She adapts the tours based on the size of the group, the dynamic and sometimes the time of year.

“Even if there’s one person, I still do the tour,” she said.

The tours, which involve about one kilometre of walking, have kept growing in popularity each year they are offered.

Fort Langley tours are scheduled for 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 10, 17, 24 and 31 as well as Sept. 7. The starting point is the lelem Arts and Culture Cafe.

The tours have expanded to the north side of the Fraser River, being offered at Whonnock Lake Sept. 2, 9 and 16 at 1 and 2 p.m. each of those days. The tours are a partnership between Kwantlen First Nation, its business arm Seyem’ Quantlen, the Coast Salish Arts and Cultural Society, lelem Arts and Culture Cafe, and the Port of Vancouver. Learn more.

While the primary reserve is in Fort Langley, Kwantlen First Nation has reserve lands and traditional territories well to the north of the Fraser River.

Gabriel explained the significance and importance of the Whonnock area to the Kwantlen First Nation at last autumn’s tours.

“A land of plenty and abundance,” she said. “The location of the pink salmon.”

And salmon, she said, represent determination, intuition and resilience.

Why?

“It’s the only animal that can climb mountains without arms or legs.”

She also explained the significance that the peaks of Golden Ears hold for her and her people:

“Kwantlen’s mountain,” she said. “Twin brothers who were transformed into stone after fighting over the love of a woman,” she says.

As for the woman?

“Transformed into a lake,” she says. “With the ability to capture and sweep people under.”

Gabriel explained why this story is important, and how it relates to Kwantlen culture, and the laws by which they live: Respect for one another, and one’s surroundings.

“It’s easy to be deceitful, hateful, and cranky. It takes a lot of work to be respectful,” she said.

_________________________________

hcolpitts@langleyadvance.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Grinch steals Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society’s safe

Theft happened early Tuesday morning at organization’s Albion fairground office

Fire at supportive housing on Royal Crescent

Firefighters find chair on fire, building being evacuated

Canada West Golf Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

UBC, UBC-O, UFV and UVic athletes will not hit the links this year, Kelowna was set to host

Meadus chosen to run for BC Liberals in Maple Ridge-Mission

Party chose not to have nomination meeting, due to snap election call

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Dozens of Canadian venues to light up red in support of entertainment workers

Local facilities among dozens across Canada to participate in Light Up Live

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Most Read