Volunteer for Tribal Journeys

February 10, 2020 - 2:45pm

Sent on behalf of Deborah Saucier, President and Vice-Chancellor

Tribal Journeys is an annual celebration of Indigenous peoples and cultures throughout the Pacific Northwest. Canoe families travel in ocean-going canoes — many made of cedar and other traditional materials — from points throughout coastal British Columbia, Alaska, Washington State and Oregon, and visit Indigenous communities enroute to a designated host site where a week of cultural protocol and celebration takes place.  

This year, Snuneymuxw First Nation will host Tribal Journeys for the first time since the event was revived 30 years ago. More than 100 canoes and nearly 20,000 people are expected to visit the Nanaimo region between July 27 and August 2, 2020. 

Community support is essential to assisting Snuneymuxw in welcoming these guests to their traditional territory. VIU is proud to be one of several community partners who have agreed to support this historic gathering. It is another step in our ongoing journey of mutual trust, respect and cultural understanding. In previous years, VIU Elders, students and employees have paddled with canoe families and participated in protocol events. 

As part of our sponsorship for Tribal Journeys 2020, VIU is encouraging its students and employees to consider volunteering their time and talent during the last week of July. This is a unique opportunity to meet a diverse group of people from coastal communities and gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous protocol and culture. There are a wide variety of jobs and opportunities available: visit www.paddletosnuneymuxw.com/volunteers for more information and to register.

Employees interested in volunteering during regular working hours are asked to make arrangements with their managers, who may approve the time away as long as the employee’s absence does not impact operational requirements. Employees are not required to take vacation or take a reduction of wages to volunteer for Tribal Journeys 2020.

An information session for students and employees will be held on Thursday, February 20 from 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm in the Royal Arbutus Room.

For any further questions about this historic event, please contact Dan Hurley at dan.hurley@viu.ca.

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