Water teaches us our connection to one another and to ourselves, our impacts on each other and the world around us. What you do upstream will always go downstream.
On July 4th, the First Nation people of the Thompson-Okanagan and Colville Confederated Tribe will join together in a Unity Ride paddling from north of Osoyoos Lake to Oroville, strengthening and re-enforcing the unity within their communities. Passing through the international border of Canada and the United States reinstates the traditional tribal territory demonstrating that their people’s border is not the one that separates Canada and the USA. First Nations people have lived for tens of thousands of years on this land. In the past, traveling by canoe was the most efficient way for First Nations people to travel where certain foods could be harvested, playing a huge part in their survival. The process of building a canoe is very spiritual and important in First Nations culture, the task involves a beautiful ceremony. Paddling with spirit in mind, strength is revealed from the connection to their ancestors and the camaraderie of the people and so goes on the powerful canoe trek. Everyone on the water, travels at the same pace to stay unified as a group with a renewed sense of pride, it is truly a mesmerizing sight to see.
This year, two of the TOTA team members have been invited to experience the canoe trek. They are participating in support of the First Nations people’s message and the unification of communities. The TOTA team members will be paddling alongside the canoes with intentions of recognizing the unique and beautiful attributes that the land and community have and in hopes of building relationships and partnerships that will last a lifetime.
This July 4th marks the 18th Annual Unity Ride. With the 20th Annual Unity Ride only two years away, the event organizers are commencing their planning promptly. It is expected to be a monumental event worth witnessing.