Kleco! Kleco! Hay’sxw’qa Si’em!

National Indigenous Peoples Day

IESS Team - Billi-Jo, Keil, Kolby, Kyle: WOW!!! I couldn't have asked for a better team to support me on this day! No words can express my heartfelt gratitude for each of you. You all have your own unique strengths and I am super grateful for you all! 

Community Partnerships: Esquimalt Nation; Songhees Nation; Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; University of Victoria; Camosun College; Indigenous Perspectives Society; Victoria Native Friendship Centre; Island Métis Family and Community Service Society; Greater Victoria Métis Nation; Indigenous Sport Physical Activity and Recreation Council; Power to Be; Vancity Credit Union; Sooke Family Resource Centre; and the Department of National Defense. Wow, what a fantastic organizing team! We could not have done this without your partnership and consistent leadership and organizing tips. Thank you!

Canoe Family: Max Henry Sr., Max Henry Jr., Roger Henry and Leonard Henry, I am grateful for your support for the canoe practices, your cultural teachings, patience, guidance and friendship. Thank you for assisting and keeping everyone safe on the water! I also want to acknowledge the other skippers: Paul Tangira, Power to Be, Sonya McRae, Shoreline Middle School, Fred Rolland, Cowichan Tribes, Francis Wilson, Cowichan Tribes, Jim Dallin, Métis Nation and Bill Bresser, Métis Nation. Thank you to you all!

Canoe Landing Protocol Practice: The legend of coming up with fun, brilliant ideas, Butch Dick of Lekwungen (Songhees) Nation, thank you! Special gratitude to Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) Hereditary Chief Edward Thomas, Mary Anne Thomas and Elmer George for standing on the beach to welcome visitors to your traditional lands.

Executive Team: Thank you for supporting this event and wanting to join the festivities, and cheering on our RRU team in the canoe challenge. President Philip Steenkamp, thank you speaking on behalf of the RRU family at the canoe landing protocol practice, providing a welcome on stage. Your leadership has not gone unrecognized and I want to hold you up for all your leadership style! You did an excellent job!

Volunteers: This is our biggest event of the year and it cannot happen without volunteers who joined us at this event. Thank you to you all! Viral Mangukia, Negar Abedi and Taseera Lwanga, thank you for organizing all of the details that guided and led the 200-plus volunteers!

Durwest: From the beginning of the day to recognizing the layout of the area and the lands, safety is prominent and I am so grateful to the Durwest team for accommodating the day. I am also so proud you all participated in the day and won the fastest race in large canoe. Doug, please pass along our heartfelt gratitude to your team and we appreciate all you have done to assist us. Know it hasn’t gone unrecognized. Thank you!

Houle Electronic: Thank you for all your support and guidance for the potential livestream. We do recognize all the hard work that went into the attempt to make it happen. We are also full of gratitude for your team to team up with Durwest to participate in the day! 

Grounds & Gardens: I am grateful to the gardens and grounds team, who came to clean, cut, and groom the lands around Sneq’wa e’lun and the lower and upper fields. The area looked amazing thanks to the team's hardwork to get everything prepared throughout campus. Paul, please pass along our gratitude to your team.

Security & Commissionaires: Thank you for all of your support that assisted all in guiding and directing, and signs for traffic that made for safe arrivals and departures for everyone! Rob, thank you and please pass along our gratitude to all.

Production Team: From tables, chairs, stands, bleachers and all the preparation from providing safety measure of the docks, to the fields and tents, we are grateful for the double check lists and the attendance to the meetings. Thank you! 

Communications, Marketing, and Recruitment team: Ali Blythe, thank you! Thank you for your hard work to get the promotional material, media material and announcements disseminated. Marco and Kirsty, thank you for all the support with promotional materials, appropriate messages, media advisories, assisting with interviews and also attending all meetings.

Media Support Services: All the MSS team, especially, Kees and Russ, you were amazing and thank you for providing the sound system and making adjustments when needed! I am grateful to you both for being with us all day! Dan, the photos look amazing and know how much I appreciate your ongoing positive energy! Thank you!

Student Services team: Kyla, thank you for supporting and recruiting the team to support this day! As team leads in a number of different areas to support our 200+ volunteers, thank you! Plus, I really appreciate you and the team welcoming the different schools to campus and assuring their safety!

Roberta, my Sista, thank you so much for your support, love, and guidance always! 

I'm sure I may have forgotten an email or to thank someone, and that's not my intention. Know that I am grateful to belong to such a huge family and honoured this day turned out the way it did! 

Today, I still carry National Indigenous Peoples Day event energy with me and know I look forward to planning next year's NIPD event for RRU. 

Today, I am proud member of RRU, to be Indigenous and friend to you all! 

Hay'sxw'qa Si'em!! Kleco!! Kleco!!! Asma-na-hi Antoine