The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Army Cadets along with members of the Sechelt Indian Band hosted the Glasgow Lanarkshire Battalion Army Cadet Force from Scotland for a unique cultural exchange last weekend.
The visit on Sunday, Oct. 13 was part of a 20-year-plus exchange between the two cadet groups since 1998. Thanks to the Sechelt Indian Band, the cadets from Scotland were introduced to the Sechelt people’s history through a traditional canoe paddle and visits to the longhouse and museum.
Sechelt Indian Band members Lori and Stan Dixon were approached by the Seaforth Highlanders to help organize the visit.
“They wanted to see the first self-governing Band in Canada on a very, very busy double holiday weekend, but thanks to the SIB Chief Garry Feschuck and School District No. 46 Aboriginal principal Carrie Mahlman, along with key people who volunteered part of their holiday time, we made it happen,” said Lori.
The cadets arrived on Sunday around 11 a.m. and first paddled around Porpoise Bay, visited the longhouse and sweat lodge, picking up some traditional teachings along the way. They then visited the Tems Swiya Museum and the standing totem poles at the Trail Bay beach.
“I would like to acknowledge the local cadet organizers for offering our Coastal hospitality to youngsters from so far away,” said Lori. “My hands go up to the SIB volunteers that made the day happen: Howie Joe and his son-in-law John Louis, Shyanne Watters who skippered the SIB canoe, and her generous husband Derek who gifted the cadets with carved paddle necklaces, Mahlman who skippered the SD46 canoe, Brenda Paull and Fran Paull who sang the protocols, and accompanied the group all day. It was a happy experience.”