Chief Mike Wyse of the Snuneymuxw Nation has announced that the Tribal Canoe Journey 2020, the Paddle to Snuneymuxw has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dear Friends and Relatives;
The pandemic of Covid-19 is an emergency health crisis that is impacting all of our Canoe Nations, families and Tribal members across the Pacific North West and around the globe. Given the enormous risk to the lives and health of our Elders, children, youth and families posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Snuneymuxw First Nation is informing you that we will postpone Tribal Journeys 2020, Paddle to Snuneymuxw until further notice.
We ask for your understanding and support with this announcement, and ask for your assistance to inform all of your families and communities that we will celebrate together at a later date.
Tribal Journeys is a celebration of our identity, culture and unifies our Nations all around the Pacific Northwest. We know how important it is for us at times like this to continue to pass our culture, practices and traditions, but it is also our tradition to protect our people and ensure everyone is safe when a threat like this pandemic faces us. A large gathering of our Canoe Families and Nations presents a risk to the health of paddlers, participants, and to our loved ones who might be exposed to Covid-19. Elders who guide and lead the Journey are especially at risk and we need to focus on supporting and protecting their health and well-being. The risk to others when paddlers, volunteers and others return home is one we cannot take at this time.
The borders to our Nations are closed at the moment, and many of our Nations have declared a state of emergency with the Covid-19 pandemic. At Snuneymuxw First Nation, we are preventing outsiders from coming into our communities in order to safeguard our people. While we are focused on keeping our Elders and people safe, our Nations have not experienced a health crisis like this for generations, and we must do everything in our power to keep our people safe from the spread of Covid-19.
The Snuneymuxw people have been planning and preparing for Tribal Journeys 2020, Paddle to Snuneymuxw 2020 over the past year. We have also forged meaningful community-wide partnerships with the municipal government, business and stakeholders. We look forward to hosting Tribal Journeys at a later date, when public health authorities advise the pandemic has subsided and public safety can be assured.
It is an honour to host the event and we look forward to a major celebration. In the meantime, our people at Snuneymuxw are keeping all of the Tribal Journeys canoe families and Nations in our prayers. We pray for your safety, health and protection.
For further information please contact Joan Brown at Joanb@snuneymuxw.ca .
Chief Mike Wyse
Snuneymuxw First Nation, 668 Centre St., Nanaimo, B.C.