Pulling Together will visit Bowen Island this weekend

Tunstall Bay will have a visit the likes of which it hasn’t seen in 20 years this Saturday. 

As community members, RCMP and other dignitaries gather on the beach, Alroy (Bucky) Baker a council member of the Squamish Nation chief and council, will welcome four canoes and 32 paddlers from the Pulling Together program.

article continues below

In the Pulling Together program, RCMP members and First Nations people, particularly at-risk youth, paddle together in traditional replica Pacific Northwest canoes in an exercise in reconciliation. In paddling together, the hope is to build relationships across an institutionalized barrier. 

Though there’s a longer trip every year (an endeavour of a week or so, where participants, camp, eat and paddle together), the visit to Bowen is just a day trip. 

“They have First Nations youth paddle to different locations and so we’re one of the stops,” says Kim Selody, co-chair of the Tunstall Bay Community Association (TBCA), which is organizing the event. 

In the Tunstall Bay clubhouse, there’s a piece of artwork done by retired RCMP officer, and founder of Pulling Together, Ed Hill. Hill presented the artwork to the association upon the occasion of a Pulling Together visit in 1999. 

This time, the visit will involve a welcoming ceremony, a blanket ceremony, both performed by Baker, and lunch. 

Ten Bowen Islanders will be blanketed, including Mayor Gary Ander, Ian Thompson (retiring fire chief), Sgt. Gareth Bradley (RCMP), Gerry Webb (an original paddler), Pauline Le Bel, Adam Koehle (RCMP Bowen Island), Gai Coutts (committee chair, TBCA), Mizuki James and Ryuki James. 

Baker says that the ceremony is to thank these people for who they are and what they do for the community. 

“We’re saying we love you. We care for you. We want to put this protection around you so that nothing will happen to you,” he said. 

The event is Aug. 17 at 11 a.m. and tickets are $20, available at the pharmacy or at the gate. 

© Copyright Bowen Island Undercurrent


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Bowen Island Undercurrent welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus