Honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning offers an educational self-guided hike up the Kw’okw’echíwel Stl’áleqem “Lookout of the Two-Headed Serpent” trail, known locally as Dragon’s Back.
The Indigenous History Hike is a free event between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Local interpreters will be stationed at points lone the trail, including traditional plant expert Yvette John, Sto:lo Resource Centre archaeologists Lisa Dojack and Mariko Adams, and HMCOL’s Kelly Pearce. Others will be confirmed soon, all of them sharing their knowledge about the important Stó:lō history of the landscape.
For people unable to hike, there will be plenty going on at the parking lot, located off an access road about 1.5 kilometres up Silver Skagit Road. There will be various presenters, music, local arts and crafts vendors. The Golden Bannock food truck will be selling food and drinks.
According to an HMCOL news release, the “event’s goal is to share information about the significance of the Kw’okw’echíwel Stl’áleqem (known locally as Dragon’s Back) trail – the Indigenous historical and cultural relationship to it, highlighting the beauty and resilience of indigeneity, and the strengthening of bonds with allies as we navigate this complex and meaningful day.
”The date of September 30, 2022 was chosen as it marks the 2nd annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is a chance to engage and educate people about B.C.’s colonial history, encourage deeper reflection, learning and public dialogue about the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and how it has impacted Indigenous communities – a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
The trail is 5.8 kilometres round trip. HMCOL suggested participants wishing to hike the entire trail should be in reasonably good physical condition and begin in the morning if they wish to visit all the interpretive stops before the event ends.
The event will take place rain or shine, but will be cancelled if there is danger to participants, such as the Flood Falls wildfire still burning by then.
The event is free to attend, with funding from the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission.
More info is available online at hopemountain.org/programs/indigenous-history-hike-september-30-2022/