A new Kwantlen First Nation festival will raise funds for scholarships for local Indigenous youths, and also offers salmon, cranberries, and frybread. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

A new Kwantlen First Nation festival will raise funds for scholarships for local Indigenous youths, and also offers salmon, cranberries, and frybread. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Salmon and Cranberry Festival comes to McMillan Island

Kwantlen First Nation launches new event with food, entertainment

A harvest celebration centered around salmon and berries will raise funds for scholarships for Indigenous students in the Langley area.

The inaugural Kwantlen First Nation Salmon and Cranberry Harvest Celebration will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the KFN’s Sports Park Arbour on McMillan Island, north of Fort Langley, said Brandon Gabriel, one of the organizers.

The celebration will be focused on the fall bounty around the end of the fishing season, and the cranberry harvest.

“It’s a time when everybody is reaping the reward of the abundance of the fishing season,” Gabriel noted, and also praying for the return of the salmon in the following year.

Kwantlen fishers are busy that time of year smoking or canning their catch for the fall and winter.

That also coincides with the cranberry harvest in Langley, where acres of fields are flooded and the bright red berries are skimmed off to be turned into juice, sauce, and dried craisins.

It also falls close to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, on Sept. 30, Gabriel noted.

The celebration will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine, and will feature music, food, and vendors.

Kwantlen First Nation entrepreneurs Pip:am Catering will be serving barbecued wild salmon kebabs and cranberry-infused frybread.

There will be performances by the Wild River Drummers, who will also provide the drumming for Plains Indigenous-themed Powwow dancers. KFN drummers will also be speaking and drumming to bless the event.

The event is being sponsored by a number of local groups, including Cranberries Naturally, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Maple Ridge Schools, and iMADE Local Pop-Up Markets.

Parking is free but locals are encouraged to walk to the event across the Jacob Haldi Bridge. Entry is by donation, and visitors can bring their own chairs or blankets to sit on while watching the entertainment.

The proceeds of the event will go towards creating an educational endowment to benefit local Indigenous youth in high school and post-secondary, Gabriel said.

READ ALSO: Langley recognizes Kwantlen First Nation educator with school naming

READ ALSO: Langley seniors mark Truth and Reconciliation Day


Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

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