Change-Makers Gathering Festival
Change-Makers Gathering Festival honours Indigenous knowledge transfer and a path to understanding in a fun, interactive and welcoming way for everyone.
Traditional Territory of Coast Salish Communities – M’akola Housing Society is bringing the Change-Makers Gathering back to Langford after a three-year hiatus, and this time it’s a festival at the Starlight Stadium in Langford.
The festival is hosted on the first Saturday in June and everyone is welcome to attend. The free festival will offer drop-in cedar weaving workshops and drop-in drum making workshops. Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers will be leading these workshops. The festival logo is titled “Hands of Change” by Chris Paul, Tsartlip Nation artist.
“We want to create an opportunity for all community members to spend time together and get the opportunity to experience some Indigenous culture and knowledge sharing,” said Kevin Albers, CEO M’akola Housing Society. “Our team has benefitted from our friendships with Indigenous leaders and Knowledge Keepers and we want to extend the gifts we’ve been offered to our West Shore community. We appreciate the Indigenous Knowledge Keepers who are graciously offering their guidance towards this important event.”
Indigenous Drum and Dance Groups will perform throughout the day and Indigenous Pop Up Market YYJ will be onsite with a variety of Indigenous artisans. Westhills YMCA-YWCA and West Shore Parks and Recreation and local sports organizations will be offering activities for children all day.
“When we think of reconciliation it is important to the City to do meaningful, action orientated work, events like this are just that. Come and learn something new, spend time with your neighbours, and listen,” said Mayor Stew Young, City of Langford. “Indigenous people need to be supported, respected, and have their cultures honoured, it starts with understanding and that’s what this festival provides.”
Bannock tacos will be served to all guests in attendance at no charge. Bannock tacos are a cultural meal enjoyed at many Indigenous community events. Daphne Underwood from T’Sou-ke First Nation will teach the Langford food and beverage team how to make bannock and share her recipe for the day. FortisBC has sponsored the lunch.
“This is a very special lunch for us to participate it and knowing that we are all receiving guidance from Daphne and honouring her and her teachings, is so meaningful,” said Carmen Driechel, Community & Indigenous Relations Manager FortisBC.
The festival is based on the Elder’s teaching, “If you feel it in your heart, you should do it and not take it home with you.” “The meaning behind this teaching is if you feel the need to say kind words, offer a kind gesture, or organize a festival, you should follow your heart and do it.” said Charla Huber, event organizer and Indigenous Communications consultant. “We often overthink things and don’t do or say things that could make a difference to the people around us.”
The Change-Makers Gathering Festival is on Saturday, June 4, 11am – 5pm. This is a free community event, and everyone is welcome.