October is Foster Parent Appreciation Month in BC, and Kw’umut Lelum wanted to do something special for all of the caregivers who make room in their hearts and their homes for our children. On October 25th, all of our caregivers were invited to attend a dinner and ceremony in their honour at the Snuneymuxw Community Gym.
Caregivers and children joined KL staff and special guests as we shared a meal and gave thanks together.
Elder Seward opened the event with prayers and welcome, while Grand Chief Doug Kelly, MP Sheila Malcolmson and KL Executive Director William Yoachim spoke of the importance of caring for our children and shared in thanking the caregivers.
We were treated to performances by the KL Canoe family, and by the Snuneymuxw Tzingquaw group (including their show-stealing up-and-coming dancer). Guest speaker Patrick Aleck gathered us in a circle and spoke of his own experience in care – how he was gifted a drum by KL in 2012 that is now used to compose his own Hul’qumi’num songs – and shared his Equality song with the honoured guests.
We raise our hands to the excellent cooks for feeding our bodies and spirits, to the KL staff and the youth who served and cleaned up and looked after the Elders and caregivers, to our emcee Lawrence Mitchell, and of course, to the incredible caregivers themselves who give of themselves every day to provide safe and caring homes for our children.
Huy’chqa Le lumilh Qwus’alut Sti’wi’ulh – Thank you for taking care of the children.
With thanks to Tricia Thomas for the photos