On June 21st the Access Centre team attended our first community event in over two years; a Children’s Fun day in honor of Indigenous People’s day. This event was put on by the Ooknakane Friendship Centre with assistance from the City of Penticton’s Social Development office. There were so many groups participating: Penticton Indian Band, Ooknakane, The Access Centre, SOSBIS, SOICS, Foundry, Metis Association, Okanagan College, the list really does go on. It was lovely to see how much support there was.
The event was from 3-6 pm and there were so many fun activities for the children; bouncy castles, weaving, coloring stations, crafts, not to mention the music and traditional dances.
The Access Centre was there with information and our entire advocacy team was available to answer questions. For a fun activity, I brought my kicking pad and taught the kids to do Kung Fu kicks and punches on the pad. It was really cute to see how excited they were to hit things, often seeming shy at first but then flipping to serious intensity and focus once they got a taste!
It seemed like the whole community was really elated and happy to be out in public together. The mood was joyous and celebratory. Our team had a wonderful time connecting with other service providers and partners, some of whom we’d only seen on Zoom before, or spoken to in emails. After the long tunnel of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were finally in the light again!
It is my sincere hope that this is simply the first of many new opportunities to gather as a community, share resources, and support each other, and the people we serve.